Creative block: The impact COVID-19 has on artists

NYLE PAUL- STAFF WRITER

As coronavirus cases increase nationwide, more and more artists find themselves having to forcefully adjust to the restricting nature of the virus. The financial, mental and physical restrictions that the virus imposes result in the risk of art equipment becoming harder to access and artists having little to no motivation to continue their craft.

At Hampton University, there are many artists who specialize in different styles of art. With the coronavirus running rampant throughout the nation, here is a glimpse at how one artist is maneuvering through this “new normal.”

Gabrielle Tazewell is a senior journalism major and a liberal arts minor. She is a blogger and specializes in creative writing.

As the pandemic continues to worsen, the financial burden gets heavier as it is drawn out. Since physically going out in public spaces exacerbates the risk of catching the coronavirus, the artistic capabilities of many artists are challenged. With money being tight and accessibility of equipment being restricted due to store closures, it has been a hassle for artists to continue their work. In an interview with Hampton Script photojournalist Isaiah Taylor, Gabrielle shared her experience with the difficulties she ran into and how they have affected her craft.

“This pandemic is taking a lot of opportunities, career wise, from me within the whole freelance blogger industry,” Tazewell said.

“But I think within my own platform, for this year, I was actually planning on going on my own, taking my own pictures and actually collaborating with more people in person. But because of the pandemic, I’m unable to really do that. I am still able to collaborate with other people, which is cool virtually. But otherwise, I have been really affected by this in terms of my own platform and progressing my career in general.”

The ongoing limitations that the pandemic has brought upon has either encouraged people to become more disciplined in their craft or left them lacking motivation to continue their craft. To help maintain her motivation, Tazewell touched on a few things she has implemented into her routine.

“Creating a consistent routine is the biggest thing,” she said. “Prior to the pandemic, when I was blogging, I kind of had a set schedule after classes. I was already doing work, so afterwards, I jumped into the blog.

“But in terms of motivation, it’s really been a struggle to just get up and stay consistent with it. Something that has helped me is finding other bloggers and aspiring writers who are motivated and want the best for themselves. I’ve just been trying to surround myself with more of those people so I can stay motivated and on top of my stuff.”

If there’s one thing that all artists can relate to, it is their collective dislike for the dreadful creative block. Referencing her familiarity with creative block and the strain it can put on one’s creative process, Tazewell discussed how dealing with creative block in the pandemic has personally affected her writing.

“With the motivational standpoint that I was talking about previously, everything we do now is digital,” she said. “So, usually I would get my content on Instagram or I would just find an influencer or a blogger similar to me and just write about them, so I wouldn’t say it’s really affected that aspect.”

“In terms of creative block/writers block, it is a really big issue when you’re going off of your own perceptions within writing, especially now. All in all, I would say that it would really affect the way that I perceive the content and how I spin it to become my own thing.”

With the mental, financial and physical challenges that the pandemic has brought along, it brings about the question of how some artists have been able to keep focused on their art during this difficult time. Tazewell shared how she has been able to remain focused on her craft and encouraged creatives to practice discipline, especially in a time like this.

“Surrounding myself with fellow creatives and connecting with a lot of people on Instagram has helped me a lot with breaking out of creative block,” she said. “It also helps me to be more consistent because I’m seeing the way that they’re working and I’m seeing the progress they’re making, so that inspires me.”

“In terms of advice that I would give to other writers or creatives, I’d advise to set a consistent routine for yourself. This time, especially for creatives, is really about discipline. Whether you’re setting alarms or setting deadlines, really do that for yourself because when you get into the actual workplace, you’re going to have to meet deadlines. So, setting alarms and maintaining a consistent schedule would be like a head start almost. There’s really nothing more that you could really lose in this time then we’ve already lost, so just do it.”

Courtesy of Isaiah Taylor
Gabrielle Tazewell and her blog can be found on Instagram
@gabrielletheblogger, where some of her work is featured. Her website is http://www.gabrielletazewell.com.

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