Exploring creativity in quarantine
Text and digital drawings by Georgi Taroni. All rights reserved.
We started off joking about productivity under a possible lockdown – did Shakespeare really write King Lear during the plague quarantine? – but then the pressure came. Every influencer, celebrity, vague acquaintance and friend on social media began using their new-found time at home to enhance their skills.
I’ve been messaged about joining art classes, learning a language, getting fit and even earning money all from the comfort of my sofa. On the surface, it all sounds appealing, but the stress of having to achieve as you would at school, university or work is not something I want to experience when snuggled under my comfort blanket and week-old pyjamas.
Us On The Sofa, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All Rights Reserved
Then I picked up a pencil.
I found a colouring book and began to scribble. I graduated to an iPad pencil and a subscription to an online drawing software and found myself creating digital art. The dust was blown off my long-lost creative soul. For about five years I have felt a distance from my creativity. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, I haven’t written so much as a stanza.
During a sleepy Sunday evening, I put my pencil to digital paper and felt the flood of creative optimism return. The privacy of the app and the ability to immediately erase mistakes without having wasted a single piece of paper, cleared away the boundaries and concern I would usually feel in the unfamiliar territory of creating art.
The Snake, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All rights reserved.
What I have found most liberating in the process of drawing is how solitary it is. Although I haven’t seen any friends of family for over a month now, I haven’t truly been alone either. Through my time looking, seeing, digesting and creating, I have been given the chance to invert my gaze. When I draw, I am in a bubble, the solitude of the bubble allows me to see creatively clearer but also appreciate the comforting chaos that socialising and community brings, when I return to it.
I have never considered myself an artist, nor felt particularly expertly skilled in drawing, however I’ve found comfort in a medium that has betrayed me in the past. Whether digital or actual pencil and paper, drawing creates something new that no one else can feel or create. We can scribble, we can erase but something was made, something was done during a time when time pushes hurriedly past us.
I feel as if now, I have some control over what I can present to others about my time in lockdown – I can share photographs of a cake I baked, I can retweet uplifting news stories or I can share a piece of my artwork. I can share some of my inner soul through texture, colour and shape.
I can show that being alone doesn’t mean to you can’t travel further than any vehicle could and the smallest step on your creative journey can reveal the glory of a life lived temporarily indoors.
Cover Image: The Bulb, 2020, Georgi Taroni, All rights reserved
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