(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Quarantine Cocoon: Being an Artist in the Age of Corona-19
By Keni Kirkwood
Creativity cannot be canceled. However, we live in a time in which almost everything else has been. You’re stuck; I’m stuck. But we have a superpower. We are all artists, whether our medium be paint, written word, baked goods, or powerpoints and spreadsheets. We are not powerless. We can be forces for good in a cloudy time. But how, exactly?
Happily, we live in a time where, thanks to a plethora of platforms, we can be more connected than ever before. I find it rather ironic that the same platforms we’ve feared would rob us of personal connection and consume our reality are now our lifeline to those very things. Right now, for those of us who create, the world is our audience, and they are only a click or scroll away.
This is about more than just creating entertainment or distraction. The things we create can help people during these unique days. God’s calling for us hasn’t changed. We are still equipped to change the world, even from where we are. In fact, the Bible has some pretty great verses about just this.
“…I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I come down to you?”
– Nehemiah 6:3
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
– Genesis 50:20
Those are the words of Nehemiah and Joseph. Nehemiah was a leader in the Old Testament who was in charge of helping Israel rebuild after the Babylonian captivity. When his enemies wanted to meet with him to stop his progress, he answered that not only was his work good, but it couldn’t be stopped.
Joseph was a young man who followed God, even in very dark times. He was despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, taken all the way to Egypt, and then thrown in prison. But God was with him through it all. In the end, Joseph was made right hand to Pharaoh, a position he used to help people, including his own family, during a great famine. God used Joseph’s circumstances to bring about family forgiveness and provide for a nation.
The Enemy intends to use this virus and the fear that comes with it to harm us. But God can use this situation for good. We don’t have to let our great work stop. We can use our position to touch many lives.
So whatever your work is, I encourage you to take advantage of the social media opportunities around you. Post your artwork, start that YouTube channel, write on a blog, just keep moving. Even if you are a practical artist, whose medium is business or homemaking, there’s still a place for you. Are you great at marketing strategy? Maybe you could share a post of your top tips. Are you an expert organizer? The rest of us would love for you to share a video of your secrets. Whatever your specialty is, the internet stands as your canvas. All you have to do is reach out.
Let this quarantine be like a cocoon for our arts, honing, sharpening, and broadening our skills until it’s time to fly. God is still working; He always is. We can’t lose hope. The sky will open again, and we will rise better creatures than we were before. This is our frame in history. Let’s make it count.