Finding Creativity in Quarantine

As each day goes by looking like an identical day from the previous day, creativity is allowing for some to find satisfaction, patience, inspiration and appreciation under quarantine

May 18, 2020


Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Vo

An unfinished cross-stitch project by junior Tiffany Vo commissioned by a friend.

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” – Winnie the Pooh, Disney’s “Chrisopher Robin” (2018).


Under quarantine, we can find ourselves becoming more like Winnie the Pooh: no pants on, eating whenever we’re bored (which is all the time nowadays) and doing nothing every day. But, in these days of boredom where time does not exist, people are still trying to find ways to stay creative.


“Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.” – Winnie the Pooh, Disney’s “Chrisopher Robin” (2018).


Finding Productivity and Satisfaction Away from School


For a lot of us, our bedrooms, dining tables, home offices and other various rooms of our house became our classroom. Switching to Emergency Distance Learning, everything can feel a little overwhelming when school life and home life is shared under one roof.


Sophomore Nora Salem has found a way to find productivity and satisfaction away from her school work. Lately, she has been keeping busy by painting, listening to music and working on iMovies. Although she already finds this satisfaction from her schoolwork, the freedom of creating without restrictions and deadlines gives her time and space to step away from school.


“It’s been hard to stay motivated to do things as we spend more time in quarantine, but thankfully there’s multiple things that help motivate me,” said Salem. “For the more creative things I do, like painting and editing, they’re pretty fun hobbies I’ve found that I like and am a little good at, so the thought of working on them more is pretty much all I need to motivate me to work on them, I guess. Even when I’m feeling really lazy, I know that once I start working on them, I’ll be able to get a lot done on them so that’s also a little motivation since it’s mainly just a thought of starting that holds me back. […] They’re also pretty relaxing to work on, especially painting, so it’s good to have them in the midst of all the homework and studying.”


Finding Patience in an Abundance of Time


Quarantine gives us a lot of time on our hands. While some of it is dedicated to schoolwork, there is still lots of time left over to leave us with our own devices. With lots of time comes hours of boredom or restlessness.


Junior Tiffany Vo finds patience in an abundance of time by spending her time and energy into cross-stitching. She has been dedicating her attention to her cross-stitching projects that require lots of patience – especially one that requires 100 stitches per square on her gridding. Her projects are usually either inspired by com

An unfinished cross-stitch project by junior Tiffany Vo requiring 100 stitches per square grid.
(Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Vo)

missions from friends, gift ideas or inspiration from a Reddit community called “r/CrossStitch.”


“I think that a lot of what I’ve learned is to be patient with myself and my work,” said Vo. “Because sometimes when I mess up on my cross-stitching by reading the pattern incorrectly or using the wrong thread color, I get frustrated that I have to pull my threads out and start over again. And sometimes I would become incredibly [unmotivated] by that and set my cross-stitching aside for who knows how long. But over time, I’ve come to learn that even if I mess up, it’s not a big deal anymore because I have all of this time to go back and fix it. And if I encounter something difficult, then I could possibly move onto another section and work on the difficult part later on if it’s stressing me out.”  


Finding Inspiration from Social Media


A lack of communication from in-person interactions often leads to a lack of inspiration and ideas. With everyone stuck at home, we have become hardwired to staring at the four corners of our room with blank ideas. However, in this digital age, social media is playing a part in creativity.


Digital drawing by senior Vienna Yung made for Mr. Brad Bohn as part of her project during quarantine. (Photo Courtesy of Vienna Yung)

Senior Vienna Yung finds her inspiration from social media. During quarantine, Yung finds herself practicing her art skills with gouache paint and digital drawing. Thankfully, her workload from school is light, so she finds herself between either browsing through social media or creating through various platforms.


“Going on Instagram and seeing all the wonderful art that everyone has created has motivated me to stay creative in hopes that I can create beautiful art as well,” said Yung. “Social media has inspired me more during quarantine than before because I spend more time online. Rather than focusing on school work 24/7, I browse social media which has been curated to show me art content.”


Finding Appreciation and Learning How to Make Do with What You Have


For some, quarantine has given them time to explore and practice creativity when they would not usually have the time pre-quarantine life. Nonetheless, for others, quarantine has become an interruption in their daily lives. While some may feel helpless, this disruption may allow others to learn how to change and adapt under unprecedented circumstances.


Junior Julia Barris has transitioned into taking dance classes via Zoom, a video communication platform. She finds herself

Junior Julia Barris holds the dance position, penché. (Photo Courtesy of Julia Barris)

dancing six days a week, designating her mornings and early afternoons to school and her evenings for dance. In her free time, she is learning new dance moves and tricks.


“I’ve worked so hard to develop the skill I have now – I don’t want quarantine to ruin that for me – so I make do with the space I have so I can continue dancing!” said Barris. “[Quarantine has] made me realize how much I appreciate my instructors and fellow dancers at my studio. I’ve never taken dancing at my studio for granted, but I miss it so much right now! […] Pros [of doing dance during quarantine] would be that you can actually dance like [nobody is] watching, because there’s no one watching (except my pets and mom). Cons would be lack of space, but I think that will actually make me a more versatile dancer.”


Finding Creativity in Quarantine


At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to make it to the next day. After almost over a month of quarantine, we might be finding ourselves a little bit restless, but try to keep busy by finding something creative to do! 


In a way, there’s a little bit of Winnie the Pooh in all of us:


“What day is it?” 

“It’s today.”

“My favorite day.”

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