Artsy Things to Do in Quarantine

The abrupt transition from life in the dorms to life at home has been strange. It’s been less than two weeks, and I already miss my friends, in-person classes, and other aspects of college life. Like many other students, the changes⁠⁠—coupled with growing concern⁠ over the virus⁠—have had a negative impact on my motivation to do schoolwork. As I’ve tried to keep in contact with friends, I’ve noticed a trend: we all seem to struggle with finding things to do.

It’s easy to feel helpless during the epidemic, as our active role in solving the problem is simply being inactive by staying at home. As students, we are also caught in a weird situation; there is still some sense of normalcy, as we have full course loads to keep up with. At the same time, the loss of jobs, clubs, and other aspects of college life can be an uncomfortable change. Whether you have unexpected free time or are looking for a stress reliever, here are some ideas for artsy things you can do while in quarantine.

  • Play an instrument or sing. Google “benefits of playing an instrument”, and you’ll find a plethora of reasons to pick up the guitar or keyboard. Don’t have an instrument? Your voice is an instrument that doesn’t require an external object to make music. Belt it out in the shower, I won’t judge.
  • Knit or crochet. If you’ve been wanting to crochet or knit, now’s the time to learn. Plus, you’ll end up with a really neat craft as a product of your work.
  • Paint or draw a picture. The perfect balance between creativity and therapy.
  • Write in a journal or blog. Journals are a great way to self-reflect, relieve stress, or inspire creativity. Do you have an idea you’d like to share with the world? Consider starting a blog!
  • Write a poem or story. Just write. Let those creative juices flow and find inspiration in everyday things.
  • Make a scrapbook. Turn those old pictures into a memorable keepsake by making your own scrapbook. This will not only exercise your creativity but allow you to preserve memories for future generations.
  • Learn calligraphy. Whether Western, Arabic, or Oriental, learning how to do calligraphy could be useful in other projects, or as an art in itself. There are countless books and YouTube videos to get you started.
  • Color a picture. With plenty of adult coloring books, coloring is not just for kids.
  • Create your own comic. Need to see some examples? We have some pretty talented comic creators here at Arts, Ink.
  • Write letters to family and friends. Sometimes, a Facebook message just doesn’t do justice. If you’re fond of sending and receiving mail, why not get the pen pal exchange started by writing a letter?
  • If none of these appeal to you, you can always enjoy the art of film by playing a movie on Netflix or Disney+. Chat with friends online via Netflix Party or Discord to enjoy socializing quarantine-style.
  • If you’re incredibly ambitious, try “pottery and ventriloquy”, “candle making”, or “paper mache” and “a bit of ballet” (“When Will My Life Begin”). You can be just like Rapunzel from Tangled and live out your days doing an array of artsy activities.

And there you have it! To follow my own advice, I’ll work on some of these things in the coming weeks and update you on my progress. Do you have another idea not listed here? What are you doing to ward off the quarantine blues? Comment below!

Le Dénouement

This was my first semester at U of M, and I got the amazing opportunity to write for Arts Ink. Going back to my first post I talked of my inexperience in the artistic world (basically I was a wannabe who adored the arts, yet I didn’t know the right way to convey how I felt). I think I’ve grown a little from my experience writing, and I am grateful for that little leap of knowledge that I’ve gained. My idea of art wasn’t fully molded when I started out, but I have begun to understand its mission of enacting thought and change, something that I truly appreciate.

I learned of influential artists that I wouldn’t have otherwise researched if it wasn’t for Arts Ink.

From Left: Nikkey Finney, Christophe Jacrot Photography, Validation/Short Film by Kurt Kuenne

I developed concepts that I wouldn’t have otherwise contemplated on a regular day.

Fashion’s Evolution/ Now & Then/WTF happened

Some weeks I was completely sucked dry of where I could take the readers of Arts Ink that Sunday. I asked myself what would you like read about? What would I feel passionate writing about? And some weeks I felt like a complete flop inspiration-wise, and others I was overcome with intrigue at what I came up with in discussion of the artistic world. It was never easy, not one week of writing; however, it’s a learning experience on both sides.

To end this semester with a challenge (let’s shake it up a bit), I challenge you readers out there to do something positive for the enduring arts movement every single day this summer. Take a class, support a band, create a collection of poems, develop a completely biased and opinionated blog about your thoughts of the intricacy of abandoned buildings, and rant about it to your uncle Larry at the next family function. I’ll do the same, and we’ll reconvene in the fall. Good luck!