Visual artist and Chatt Art podcast host Jennifer Kring shares how the current health crisis has impacted her workflow and offers advice to artists struggling with isolation.
Creating something is a sacred task that requires discipline, space and reflection. For many artists, it’s challenging to be confined at home and forced to create in a space where our attention is divided between work, school, and our families.
Mixed media artist Jennifer Kring shared that the coronavirus pandemic has greatly reduced the time she spends in the studio and forced her to strike a new balance between parenting and creating art.
“I take my artwork production very seriously and it requires my full attention,” she said. “I have altered my schedule to decrease the demand on my time during the daytime hours because I love my family and they have a lot of needs that deserve all of me as well.”
Although she prefers not to work at night, Kring sees the challenge as a creative opportunity and seems grateful to be spending more time with her family.
“I continually remind myself what C.S. Lewis said, ‘Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are the most important work.’” she shared. “Every day is a process and some days are better than others.”
Having recently started Chatt Art, a podcast and blog site aimed toward featuring local artists and telling their stories, Kring is no stranger to the power social media and online broadcast platforms can have in challenging times.
“Right now, online sharing is our only way of interacting creatively in the world…it is essential,” she said. “We are living in a moment that has unprecedented connectivity and community while in the midst of a global crisis.”
Actively creating and sharing in the face of a pandemic can be challenging, but Kring encourages artists to embrace any of the obstacles and negative emotions they might encounter and pour them into their work.
“To my fellow artists, it is okay to feel…all the things…grief, sadness, anxiety,” she said. “Feel it, give yourself up to it and soak in all that this moment is offering, even if it's hard…Be willing. Be vulnerable. Then release it...It is what you are made to do.”
She suggests that by sharing our experiences through artistic mediums, we’re better able to confront the common fears we collectively have.
“I think there is an opportunity for artists to uniquely contribute to their community in a time where people need them the most,” she said. “Our community is grieving and searching for meaning right now…Artists have distinctive gifts that can serve our culture in times of distress.”
Jennifer can be followed on Instagram, @jenniferkring, and make sure to go listen to Chatt Art. Some other great art podcasts you can also check out are The Jealous Curator, Art and Cocktails, and Do It For the Process!