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Lockdown Art

Art is keeping us inspired in Lockdown

Let me begin by raising a toast to the indominable spirit of mankind. We could not have changed the course of this pandemic, without science and its keepers. In this time of unprecedented crisis, it has been exceptionally inspirational to see how healthcare professionals, security forces and essential services workers, have held their position at the front-lines. But have you wondered, what else has kept the society going and connected in these difficult times of stress and isolation? What is that thing, which constantly reinforces the hope of normalcy? Or how are we re-imagining the world, without leaving the house? It is through art. Many newspapers and online publications are also talking about it and they have been featuring artists and their lockdown art.

Sir Albert Einstein had said,

 “A society’s competitive advantage will come not from how well its schools teach the multiplication and periodic tables, but from how well they stimulate imagination and creativity.”

Illustration -People in their balconies

Science and Art are two sides of a coin

Uncertainty and impact of COVID-19 worldwide has already started to affect our mental and emotion balance. If it would not have been art and its power to entertain, refresh, inspire, distract, cleanse and reinstate aspiration, we would all have been victims of quarantine, malaise and melancholy. Perhaps that’s what makes art so valuable and desirable in these times of pandemic and its consequences.

I am sure the patrons of art will agree that while science has been saving the world from falling in the grip of the nasty virus, art has been keeping us all motivated and alive. The visual things, tangible items of all shapes & sizes, and our everyday creations are empowering us to every bit. With the help of art, we can feel limitless, even in the lockdown.

If you turn the pages of history, you will see that art has always kept us inspired and optimistic, despite the worst of events. In fact, many people have used art as a response to uncertainty and catastrophe. Nature, itself is God’s most beautiful art. You may not realize but just the presence of art, its trans-formative experience and its ability to lend a sense of happiness and meaningfulness in your life, drives away the numbing effect of negativity.

Art helps in proactive response and positive grieving

We are vulnerable individuals and this sudden detachment from our regular life is not coming easy on us. Thank God, we have art to alternate and modify the human psyche. No doubt we are all sad, but we are innovating and fighting the current situation in our own ways. Shift your perspective and you will see how art and artists are helping us respond proactively. Who is sewing the masks? Who is designing the catchy social message logos? Who is keeping you happy with all the creative recipes in the kitchen? Why are hobbies of painting, stitching, crafting reviving? Why are memes being used to alter your mood? What is keeping the patients distracted and busy on their phones?

Illustrations of the New Normal
KALEIDOSCOPE OF CHEER AND HOPE – 50 illustrated musings on life during lockdown

My story and theme of art work!

The reality of the virus and the post-travel stress hit me when I returned from my international trip in February. By March, it got worse. When I cancelled my trip on 14th March, I was not very happy about the fact that many others were still not acknowledging the magnitude of the threat. I had an urge to educate such people and that is why I did my first drawing on social distancing. It was appreciated and shared widely. That feeling of creating something worthwhile was priceless. The aura of vibrant colours had a very positive impact on me.

Thus, I decided to buy a drawing book, some sketch pen sets and coloured pens. Due to constant travelling, I had not been able to return to my long-lost hobby of making situational drawings. This #stayhomestaysafe period gave me the right kick. In an attempt to rejuvenate and keep myself busy, I make one creation every day. I have used Indian art forms, Gond and Warli art to propagate awareness.

Recovered COVID Cases in India shown through Art.
My Lockdown art – Number of people who have recovered versus Active cases in India!

An artist and a traveler, never lose their passion and inspiration.

During lockdown, the idea of travel has been like a far-fetched dream but there has been no lockdown for an artist. One who loves to paint can wander anywhere with his/her creativity and colors. I have also tried capturing some moments of my travel to different countries and also created a whole video on the theme #ThrowThailand by using my drawings.

A video made with my drawings!

A slightly modified version of the above article was published in Deccan Herald newspaper during the last week of April.

And now I have a book too!

Book on Covid and Pandemic Art
Illustrated Musings on life during Lockdown!

I am also happy to share that I have a dedicated ‘Instagram account’ for all my art work that I have done during these ‘stay at home’ days. I have made more than 100 drawings till date, keeping up to my #OneArtADay project.

9 thoughts on “MY LOCKDOWN ART

  1. It is great that you have found a creative outlet for your energy during lockdown. I think that this is a way to express your feelings without keeping them all locked inside. And often art is a prettier way to think about the world. I can see how those bright colours would have a positive impact.

  2. I love how different forms of art have shown brightly during this sad time! I loved seeing all of the chalk creations kids would make in their driveways, or the heart creations on windows. I can draw a Christmas tree and a dogs face, so my drawing skills are limited and I love admiring others! I think it’s great you were able to use this as an outlet!

  3. Your right this pandemic has effected our mental and emotional health drastically. Art really is a wonderful release of these emotions and fears. It is so unfortunate that you had to cancel your trip in March. It really does make this whole situation more real and scary. I enjoyed reading this post and see your art! Stay healthy!

  4. I’ve started doing more sketches during my travels, and I love looking back at them to remind me of events and interactions I had during each trip. I like using pen and ink to capture the scenes, but love that art can take many forms.

  5. What an interesting article! I have actually always wanted one of those adult coloring books for stress relief and a creative outlet. I agree that art can certainly help during challenging times like COVID19!

  6. I love that first Warli art! Staying creative during a lockdown is a challenge. For a long time, we had no delivery where I live. But now, finally have been able to order oil pastels and poster colors. Will hopefully try something in the coming weeks.

  7. I wish I can draw like you. I can see that it helps you ease the stress or the upset feeling, specifically seeing people who don’t understand the thread of this virus. And you can use it as a public service ad as well to remind people about social distancing, wearing masks, etc.

  8. Art is a great therapy and it is very nice that you took up your passion for art during lockdown. I too love art and whenever I am free love to scribble something which makes my inner self happy. Loved to see your art works as they are quite message driven too. Also picking up colorful sketch pens is a great idea. Good going Manjulika and would love to see more of your works in future.

  9. This is a nice idea. Thank you for sharing your beautiful creation. Scanning your IG page now. 1
    Keep drawing and have fun. Stay inspired.

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