Artists give their perspective on how they have adapted to creating online.
This year creatives have faced new challenges creating art in the midst of a pandemic, and in a period of history where screen-time is at an all-time high. Though creators have had to navigate new obstacles, some artists have found new opportunities to develop their content.
Before quarantine happened, artists had been utilizing social media to increase their presence, which allows potential clients to see and purchase their work online.
“Digital artwork is continuing to grow, from logos to stickers and also companies like Redbubble and Etsy make this possible,” said Naomi Hall, a recently graduated artist from Azusa Pacific University.
When the pandemic caused nationwide lockdowns in March, she felt prepared to evolve her artistry given her new circumstances.
“There has been a little bit of a learning curve, but that is the beauty of art. It continues to change with the times,” said Hall.
While this season of quarantine has caused newfound obstacles for creating art, an emerging Christian rapper, Jaay Verano, has used this extra time to develop his artistry.
“To be honest, the pandemic helped me out,” Verano said. “I was able to lock myself in my room and create music. Whether it was songs I was going to put out or not, the creative flow was ongoing, and it was easy because I literally had to be home. I had nowhere to be, and nowhere was I needed. I was able to try new things and my project came out of it. It’s the most successful I have been (streamwise) yet.”
Hall also shares the same sentiment, spending her time creating new pieces in the scenic area of Redding, CA. Her new environment is a great space for her to practice other forms of art, such as graphic and web design.
While practicing social distancing has changed the way we interact with each other on a daily basis, artists have utilized social media to collaborate with their peers or promote their music. As he began adapting to his circumstances, Verano was able to expand his audience on various social media platforms and even got his latest song “FEENY” trending on TikTok.
“Promoting the music, it was easier because we were able to be on social media, while everyone else was because there was nothing else to do. COVID-19 made social media a bigger outlet than it already was and that worked to our advantage,” said Verano.
Julian Atalit, a singer and producer, says he has relied on collaborating with artists through email or simply just texting them. Meanwhile, Verano has been finding new outlets to safely and efficiently connect with his fans.
“Usually photo shoots and promotional visuals were out and about and around people,” he said. “We weren’t able to do that because of COVID-19, so it made us think outside the box, and take photos at home in front of a green screen or blank walls.”
Though there have been benefits to the current circumstances we are in, problems have arisen that threaten to change the arts as we know it. With museums and galleries having to adjust to COVID-19 guidelines, many believe that this current pandemic will have a lasting impact on artists’ abilities to display their work.
Additionally, streaming services such as Spotify have recently cut streaming royalties for artists and have replaced the revenue with algorithm boosts for increased exposure. The problem is that this portion is coming out of the minuscule $.0038 per stream that artists receive. This is not nearly enough money to live off of for up-and-coming artists. Atlit believes that musicians must become active and heavily reliant on social media in order to make money.
In the future, it will remain an essential trait for an artist to be able to create and showcase their work during this unprecedented time. “It’s important because trends come and go, but if you’re able to adapt, you’ll be able to conquer it and in return have longevity in this industry,” Verano said.