There are many different reactions to the COVID-19 outbreak. At any given moment, the emotional rollercoaster of a global pandemic might involve sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, loneliness, joy or gratitude.
As we put together content and wrap our minds around how our industry needs to (and can) evolve during this time, we realize that everyone’s reality is changed in different ways. For the purpose of brainstorming how art supplies fit into it all, we are focusing on people who are sheltering in their homes with the capacity and desire to create.
People in the creative materials industry are experts when it comes to creative solutions, expressing ourselves, learning new things, observing the world around us and interpreting it. We know that creative acts have the potential to destress our brains, heal our hearts, connect us to one another, channel our energy and tell important stories.
For those of us spending the majority of our time in our home, some days we might be pulled to organize every drawer in the house, Zoom with our friends and family, even shower and put on pants. Other days, we might curl up in bed and stare at various objects, listlessly switching from tab to tab, beating ourselves up for not even being able to get through one news article.
But on the days when creativity does feel possible: here are some creative personalities we are noticing out in the world. We’ve bundled supplies with each personality so that our industry can help nurture all kinds of creative impulses!
The Interior Design Nut
For those of us who are spatially inclined, spending most of our time in the same room means optimizing the flow of everyday habits, rearranging at least once a week, switching new art into old frames and puzzling over ways to freshen up the stuff we look at everyday.
Here are some items and projects in particular that might appeal to someone who has launched into overdrive in terms of nesting:
- Frames for artwork or photographs that have been in folders and boxes for too long; consider sharing a DIY Framing & Matting Tutorial. Promote Scotch Mounting Squares & Tape, Unfinished Wood (Craft) Tabletop & Wall Frames, Wood Floater Frames, Clip Tabletop & Wall Frames, and Strathmore Photo Frame Cards.
- Collage supplies for collaging bland everyday objects like storage tins, clorox wipe containers, mugs and more. Bundle Mod Podge, Mosaic Tiles, Glue Gun Kits and an X-Acto Knife Set w/5 assorted blades for a convenient kit
- Spray paint, stencils, sandpaper and acrylic varnish for freshening up that dingy lamp or side table. Krylon Short Cuts spray paint, Crafter’s Workshop Stencils, Krylon Satin Finish, Montana Gold Spray Paint, Montana Varnishes and Montana Primers are great options to highlight.
The Outdoorsy Type
While we are sheltering in place and only leaving our homes for essential errands, those of us who crave the outside world—the gardeners, sun-babies, beach bums, runners and plant moms —are getting extra creative with our very limited time outside. Maybe we transform our stoop into a cornucopia of garden art or elevate our sidewalk with a chic chalk art exhibit. Maybe we apply laser-like focus on our daily stay-sane walk around the block with the kids to bring home items of inspiration.
Here are some items and projects that might appeal to someone who is re-imagining the patch of outside world they have access to:
- Chalk, window paint or other supplies for transforming windows and sidewalks into unicorns, rainbows and public service messages. Try promoting items like Micador Chalk Eggs, STABILO Woodys, Uni Chalk Markers, Crayola Sidewalk Chalk, Crayola Window Crayons and Crayola Window Markers!
- Supplies for turning potted plants into a fairy menagerie, magical portal or any other fantasy realm that speak to you and your family. Use Montana Acrylic Markers, POSCA Paint Markers, DAS Air Hardening Clay, Van Aken Claytoon Clay Sets, Lichen Ground Cover or an 8-Piece Pottery Tool Kit.
- Printmaking supplies to transform items found on your daily walk: turn everyday objects (leaves, flowers, odds & ends) into art with sun printing, frottage or collage. Some supplies that can inspire: Speedball Gel Printing Starter Kit, Speedball Mulberry Block Printing Paper, Jacquard Solarfast and other cyanotyperelated products, Speedy Carve Stamp Making Kit, Baren Tool Kit for Lino Printing & Block Making, Strathmore Printmaking Heavyweight Pads, Stonehenge White Paper Pads, Linoeum Cutters and a Linozip Assortment.
Visual art plays a crucial role for communicating ideas and connecting people to bigger issues. People are responding to the UN’s global call for creatives, a search for visual art that accurately communicates the nature of the public health crisis to people all over the world. This means artwork that communicates messaging around hand washing, social distancing, staying at home, supporting and honoring essential workers in food, health and security. In addition to creating visual vocabulary for what is happening, helpers are also creating various forms of face protection for everyday citizens (now recommended by the CDC).
- Here are some supplies that might help the helpers for mask-making: Clover Compact Sewing Kit, Grafix Clear Dura Lar Pads, Grafix Clear Acetate Film and FPC Corporation Glue Gun Kits.
- And for DIY posters, public health-related art and inspirational messaging: Speedball Block Printing Starter Kit, Cavallini Poster Hanging Kits, Speedy Carve Stamp Making Kit and a Polyprinting Foam Plate.
For those of us sheltering in place with time on our hands, especially those of us far from friends and family, social media is the main stage. The class clowns, fashionistas, social butterflies and meme-lovers of the world seem to be producing around the clock, creating a tsunami of content!
For people who are performers by nature, here are some ways to support their endeavors:
- A fun social media challenge from the Getty Museum: recreate famous artwork with what you have around you
- Cosplay supplies like Craft Foam Sheets, Friendly Plastic All-Purpose Pellets, Liquid Sculpy, Casting Epoxy, Composimold, POSCA Paint Marker Sets and Foamwerks Cutters, Hole Drills & Blades
- iDye, Shibori Kits and leather paint for transforming little-worn wardrobe items for a Fashion Week from Home: try Angelus Basic Leather Paint Kit, Jacquard Indigo Tie-Dye Kit, Jacquard Tie-Dye Kit, Jacquard Leather Paint Set, Marabu Fashion Spray Paint, Jacquard Textile Paint Set or Jacquard iDye Fabric Dye.
- Other fun craft supplies for DIY accessories and jewelry, like Pony Beads, Stretch Jewelry Cord, Exotic Beads, Glass Seed Beads, Artistic Wire and a beading Tool Kit.
In a similar vein of performers, people are chronicling their own experiences and the experiences of their community, sharing stories big and small. This means letter-writing, inspiring or potent comics about their daily lives.
- Supplies to support the craft of letter-writing: a chance to connect with loved ones, unplug and create. Try Stabilo Pen 68 Sets, CalliCreative Hand-Lettering Set, Beginner Lettering Set or the EMOTT Fineliner Pen Sets.
- DIY comic book kits for creatives of all ages who would like to make comics about the experience! Canson has some great products: A Comic Book Sketchbook, a Create your own comic book kit and Canson Comic book art boards.
- Colored pencils, fineliners and markers for comic creation: Pigma Micron Comic Pro Sketching & Inking Set, Pigma Sensei Manga Drawing Set, Stabilo Point 88 Sets, Copic Sketch Marker Sets, POSCA Colored Pencils and POSCA Paint Markers.
The Art Dog team is always brainstorming ways to support our creative community with content, stories and tips; please let us know if you have any ideas or requests for what you’d like to see on the blog in coming weeks!