Artist Reflection on The Pandemic

An example of crochet art that Ms. Jones, a Lafayette Art teacher, has worked on during the pandemic. (Sara Jones)
This is an example of an artwork that the Crafts class has completed during virtual learning. (Daimonika Mays)

Have you ever thought “What is everyone going through right now?”
“How are people handling everything during this pandemic?”
“How do other people feel about everything that’s going on?”

The Times asked the arts and crafts teacher, Ms. Jones to talk about what art/craft teachers are going through during this difficult time of the pandemic. During this period, there are millions of things to worry about such as a loved one’s health, your health, finance, insurance, job, or more. Teaching feels like a difficult state to be in, having to worry about your students’ problems on top of yours can be a lot of pressure.

Art teacher Ms. Jones focuses on teaching her students different, new, creative ideas, contributing her creativity to the teaching half of her life as opposed to her artist half. But as an art teacher, she has also started to find who she is as a person and has started to find new projects and artworks that she enjoys most. She has found ways to be creative with her teaching rather than her art, “It’s been difficult to be creative because I am in teaching mode so much, but I think my creativity has been channeled into the lessons I created.”

Most art teachers make artwork that speaks to them, and during this time things like that can help you get through a lot. When asked , “During the pandemic have you developed any new stories or memories for the background of your artwork?” Ms.Jones replied by saying, “Most of my artwork is realistic but over the summer I was able to make a couple of things/pieces of art but they became more therapeutic so it was more a way to process what we’re all going through.”

Some people take the pandemic going on as a joke, while some people just wanna have fun with the situation, and others take it extremely seriously. Ms. Jones states that some of her friends have asked her to crochet a little COVID-19 teddy bear but Ms. Jones feels badly about physically honoring something that is keeping her from doing what she loves such as teaching, being with family, and more.

How are other art teachers and artists feeling about the pandemic? Ms. Jones has been in a lot of groups of artists and she believes that some are really expressing their feelings throughout their art emotionally and mentally. Some have lost their jobs and had to rely on art to provide for themselves, while others are too emotionally overwhelmed to make art. She stated that she was lucky to have an income from teaching since, “a lot of artist friends don’t have income because not a lot of people are buying art because it isn’t a necessity.”

As most artists use art to reflect upon their life we wanted to see what Ms. Jones would draw to represent this time. She explained that if she had to draw the world now, she would draw an image of a bunch of people overlapping, separate from each other, sad and awkwardly standing apart with masks, remaining expressionless.There would be such a disconnect between the people. Ms. Jones says most of her art is realistic and not abstract, although she made a couple things over the summer she thought were therapeutic.

Even with all the worries about the pandemic, some of Ms. Jones colleagues “are really thriving with the artist side of things and others are like me and can only focus on the teaching side of things.” However an artist chooses to deal with this time seems to be appropriate–whether that is creating a crochet covid-19 or not.