LOCKDOWN ART: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT AS AN ARTIST

Lockdown. Not the happiest of times for many of us artists. Cancelled art shows, closed down galleries, feeling blue or stressed out because of everything that is going on. No, lockdown doesn’t seem like the most inspirational of times when it comes to art. But! For me it has proved to be a very productive time. With little to no distractions I have been able to make several new art series during the first and second lockdown.

lockdown art in my studio the fran visual artist 2020

WHY LOCKDOWN WAS A FLY BY FOR ME

I must admit: I am an introvert at heart. So being alone and being at home really wasn’t a struggle for me at all. So I had that going for me. Also: I was able to access my studio during both lockdowns. I am a total loser when it comes to making art at home. Something with having too many distractions like the laundry waiting to be done or the kitchen waiting to be cleaned…) So having access to my studio turned out to be a life savor. Or art savor.

THE ART I MADE DURING LOCKDOWN

As I said: I made several new series of art during the two lockdowns. I’ve listed them below with the correct links for you to check them out. Some of them aren’t online yet, because when I am in an art making spree I tend to neglect my website…

lockdown art in my studio the fran visual artist 2020

LOCKDOWN ART: COSY CORNERS

Let me just highlight one of the art series I made during lockdown: my Cosy Corners.

I started working on these Cosy corners during the second COVID lockdown. It had just turned autumn in The Netherlands and I wanted to express my love for the new season. Also, I wanted to share my introvert view on lockdown. When being alone isn’t a struggle but a bliss and you are able to spend time surrounded by your plants or enjoy making some homegrown jam, lockdown isn’t very hard. It rather is a time for reflection. For enjoying everything that is still possible to do. And to give a little extra attention to the things at home you like to do best. Reading, planning the allotment for next year, making new art, watching a movie, taking a walk, preserving veggies.

So in essence these drawings are my introverted view on lockdown. They are not meant to sugar coat anything. Because I know very well how devastating the pandemic has been and still is for many of us. I merely thought there also ought to be an introverted take on things. Especially because I have experienced it way more popular to complain about not being able to do things and meet up with people. But when I replied to messages of support or questions about how am I coping, with: ‘I am doing great tbh, because I love the peace and quiet and I allow myself to be the recluse I actually always long to be’. Every single person replied with: ‘you know, so do I actually.’

So these Cosy Corners are also a celebration of introverts wherever they are. And whether they are ready to come out as such or not. I am an introvert and I am proud to be one!

WHAT TO EXPECT?

The current times are unpredictable so I am not sure what to expect art-wise. But I can say that I have definitively found my mojo when it comes to collages and mixed media artworks. So I think I can promise much more of that kind of works to come very soon. From January the 1rst I will be sharing new botanical collages on my Instagram account @art.bythefran . So if you would like to see daily updates be sure to follow me there.

For now I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2021. With art, friends, group immunity and vaccines! Stay safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

AUTHENTICITY AND CONNECTION: THE ART OF LETTING GO

Currently I am in the retreating phase of one of my creative waves. That means I am contemplating my work, its themes, the things I am exploring and why. And just now I realised that I have been operating on a scale of authenticity and connection. And that maybe now the time has come for me to step out of that scale.

A scale of authenticity and connection?

What do I mean with a scale of authenticity and connection when it comes to my art practice? I feel like I am constantly balancing the authenticity of my work with how it will or won’t connect with others. Let me give you an example. When I come up with something to make I also immediately think about how others will react to it. And whether it may be defining me as something or someone to other people. As a result depending on how I feel I will choose to compromise the authenticity of my work. Or I will choose to push through with a sort of devil-may-care attitude.

I now feel that this doesn’t suit me no more. Neither ways: no pushing and no compromising or self-censuring my creativity.

authenticity and connection: no longer compromising my art practice - the fran visual artist 2020

My understanding of this scale within my work up until now

For the first time in my life I am being totally okay with being in this retreating phase. Contemplating, silent, processing. Being okay with it took it to a whole different level of contemplating. I started looking at my artistic practice and the way how I connect with my own work.

I now understand that I have been connecting with my work the same way as I have learned to bond with people as a child: co-dependently.

authenticity and connection: making large fruits just because I want to make them - the fran visual artist 2020

What is codependency?

Codependency is an unsafe attachment style adopted by children who cannot bond with their parents/caregivers in a healthy, loving way. Codependency makes you want to manipulate other’s opinions of you for your own good (your own sense of being loved). Rather than developing a sense of authentic self love and self respect. In essence: you need others to love you in order to be able to love yourself. And you will do anything to ensure they will. Even compromising yourself.

This of course is a recipe for disaster when it comes to developing a strong sense of self. And of self-expression. Because codependency leaves you in a place of constant worry. Worry about how others are perceiving you and whether they will still love you tomorrow.

new and familiar: large collage artwork by the fran visual artist 2020

The art of letting go

Now that I am healing from all kinds of unconstructive patterns I am able to discover those patterns in my artistic practice as well. Suggesting that my art exists on a scale of authenticity and connection is in a way deeply codependent. At the same time I understand that as an artist you’re not operating on an island. And that most of us actually do create art to feel connected. Whether it is with nature, with our inner world and/or with the souls of others). I now understand as well that the purpose of connection can never be the cause of compromising your authenticity. Because only from creating through that strong sense of authentic expression you will experience true connection.

Choose authenticity and connection will follow

So, from now on I will be practicing the art of letting go. Making art because I feel it wants to be made through me and subsequently letting it go. Allowing it to have its own journey once it’s out of my hands. Meeting and connecting with like minded souls, whoever that may be.

I will be winking at them from a distance, wishing them well while creating new art.

CREATIVITY DURING CORONA: 4 TIPS

If you read my last blog about 3 ways of enjoying art from home then you might got inspired. Therefore I made you this blog with 4 tips for creativity during corona. Let’s get our creative groove on and take our mind off things!

1: FREE COLOURING SHEETS EXOTIC SEA LIFE

creativity during corona free art downloads
Exotic Sea Life ink drawings for free. Let’s get creative!

I made you a free PDF with all my Exotic Sea Life ink drawings. You can print them, colour them with crayons, markers, watercolour paint or even acrylics. But you can also craft them into a collage or frame them. It’s up to you!

Check out my Free Art page for the downloads (you don’t have to sign up, just one click, because I want everybody to be able to enjoy!).

Share your creativity with me on Instagram using the #creativefranzy
I’d love to see your take on them!

2: FREE ART PUZZLES

Secondly there’s a Sunflower and a Rose puzzle. You can print out the pages and put them in the right positions to get yourself a sunflower or a rose ink drawing. Which you can then colour or craft into something entirely new!

Check out my Free Art page for the downloads (you don’t have to sign up, just one click, because I want everybody to be able to enjoy!).

Share your creativity with me on Instagram using the #creativefranzy
I’d love to see your take on them!

3: CREATIVITY DURING CORONA: FACE THE FOLIAGE

face the foliage creativity during corona
@facethefoliage

One of you replied on my last blog with this AMAZING Instagram account. It makes faces out of foliage. And it’s super easy to recreate at home. Just use your dried out Easter tulip bouquet. Or take a walk and bring some dandelions and daisies back home to play with. It’s easy but the results can be amazing!

4: CREATIVE ONLINE CLASSES

Many creatives offer online classes and workshops. For instance, check out the online sewing classes by Atelier Bydo. Or watch one of the DIY soap tutorials by Lovely Greens. I’m sure your favourite creative also hosts an Instagram Live or started a YouTube channel.

CREATIVITY DURING CORONA

Lovely greens soap making diy tutorial
Lovely Greens

Of course there are a million more ways of getting creative during corona. If you like cooking or baking, give that one recipe a go you’ve been avoiding for ages because it has this very involved part in it.

And guess what, right now is the perfect time for sowing flower seeds in your garden or in a pot on your balcony. The weather has been great so far, just make sure they get enough water and it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something with quick results. To be sure it gives you satisfaction and a good feeling about yourself. In stead of catapulting you into the abyss of self doubt and criticism. (As for me: I thought, well, I’ve got all the time in the world, why don’t I finally start working on my sci-fi screenplay!) I found that sort of long term creative projects are not for now. So don’t start writing a book, learning a difficult language or start playing the violin all by yourself. Be gentle. (Though, if you’re already half-way on that book, by all means keep going 🙂 ).

YOUR TURN!

So now it’s your turn! Out of the 4 tips I shared, which one did you find the most helpful? Love to hear! And do you have some tips to add yourself? Share them in the comments so we can inspire each other!