Quick Q & A: How has covid-19, self-isolation and social distancing affected your art practice?

The Quick Q & A editorial in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine is a much loved regular feature, in which we ask 6 artists the same 4 questions. In the September 2020 Issue 30 these were the Quick Q & A questions:

  • How has covid-19, self-isolation and social distancing affected your art practice?
  • How do you want your artwork to make people feel?
  • What do you find is the most exciting part of the creative process?
  • Tell us about an important life moment that influenced the direction of your work, and how.

We feel that the artists’ responses provide such a valuable insight for our community of artists that we wanted to share one Quick Q & A response from each issue with you, going forward. The September 2020 Issue 30 print issue is sold out, but you can download the digital magazine via our webstore to read more. To ensure you never miss an issue again, you can also subscribe to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and have each issue sent straight to your door each quarter.

Excerpt from Issue 30 // September 2020 Quick Q & A editorial: Artists Michelle Avery Konczyk, Chantal Horeis, My Pet Skeleton, Jessica Watts, Jaymi Zents and Nikole Cooney respond to the below Quick Q & A:

How has covid-19, self-isolation and social distancing affected your art practice?


Michelle Avery Konczyk

“After a few weeks in quarantine, I decided to take a moment with the world as it all seemed to ‘pause’. This break gave me time to feel and to grow as a human, separate from my art. It was an opportunity to look inward and learn more about myself, to plant seeds for future harvest. For someone whose personal life is the driving force behind their art, any big change of routine will cause my work to ripple out into uncharted waters. As I am writing this, I am two days back into painting. I do not know yet how my art has changed from this Covid dystopian world, but I am excited to see where it evolves from here.”

Chantal Horeis

“Not very much directly, to be honest. I have my studio at home, so everything I need was already there and set up. I think that is the case for a lot of artists, at least in my circle of creative friends. I can still go outside into nature which is important for my creativity and I implemented virtual meetings with friends and family. But of course there is the mental aspect of knowing that there are many people suffering, people I know and people I don’t know personally. It led to a couple of rather unproductive phases. But I try to not be too hard on myself. Usually I only manage some sketching during days like that and that’s okay.”

Chantal Horeis art
my pet skeleton art

My Pet Skeleton

“I’ve made a big effort to call and reach out to other artists during this time. This pandemic is new territory for all of us, and so being helpful, finding support and exchanging ideas with my peers has been energising in an isolating time. I’m a social person, and so having a 30 minute tea break over Zoom has now become an important part of my day in-between working. I’ve also taken this time to go back to my roots as an intaglio printmaker and combine those old school techniques with my work as a digital artist. The results have been exciting because I’m getting effects that can only be done by combining the two mediums together. So, I’m feeling a little like a mad scientist in my studio, which is a look that suits me rather well. I think it’s important to keep learning and trying something new.”

Jessica Watts

“I’d love to describe a scene of me swanning around the studio creating new work in idyllic isolation, but COVID distracted me from my practice. Like most working women, I was suddenly juggling teenagers at home, dystopian supermarket settings, and the uneasy feeling of the unknown. In time, I made-do and replaced weekdays at the studio with long hours over the weekend, which was relatively productive. I work in a big space and my dog Kevin and I were there on our own, so no logistics with social distancing. Demand actually increased during this time – I think those lucky enough to hold on to their jobs were suddenly focussing on their homes, and keen to buy in to a bit of beauty.”

jessica watts bird
jaymi zents art

Jaymi Zents

“Solitude had long been my preferred way of life. Covid art life really hasn’t been that different than my normal art life. The fear of Mommy getting sick has been the most difficult element of Covid 19. It is going to be a challenge to keep that fear out of my drawings. But socially, the disconnect, even in the physical presence of someone, has been odd and may prove to have an impact on my work. I went from recognising and appreciating most people’s features to barely making eye contact. Studying faces has always been a way to connect, while accumulating information for drawing features and learning anatomy. The fear that is evident in so many people’s faces may prove challenging to distance from my drawing.”

Nikole Cooney 

“This time in isolation has impacted my practice in several ways. Mostly it has been a time of grounding, reflection, and introspection. During this time, we moved and spent a lot of quality time with family. The value of this to the work that I do is immeasurable. Creating in itself requires some isolation so building a strong foundation in love only opens up the creative energy further. It is freeing. It has also been a time to look at the way that I, as an individual, impact the world and what I can improve upon. We are all connected. When we grow and heal so do those close to us and so does the collective.”

nikole cooney elephant

About Author

Danijela Krha Purssey is an entrepreneur, and the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Australian based international contemporary art magazine, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine. She is deeply passionate and committed to her vision to help shift the paradigm in the global contemporary arts industry regarding what is defined and accepted as contemporary art.


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