Opinion: Creative quarantine

Maddie Weekley '21, Copy Editor

I’ve always been a creative person (notice how I said creative and not talented). You see, I’ve never been good at art, which is part of the reason why I’ve never made time for it. When school was still in session, I barely had enough energy for homework, let alone recreational crafts. Now, quarantine has given me more time than I know what to do with, so I’ve used that to my advantage by rekindling some old hobbies and picking up a new one as well.
First, I turned to painting; a pastime I tried out during mid-winter break but quickly forgot about. It was something I loved doing with friends, so I was a bit sad when I realized I’d have to do it alone. Nevertheless, I looked up some inspiration pictures and got to work on disproportionate landscapes, lopsided people and a simple cow print that I only made because everything else was too difficult. My finished products were nothing to be proud of, but just the simple act of being away from my phone was enjoyable enough. It’s rare that I spend my free time away from technology, and it felt good to get a break.
Being away from school also gave me the opportunity to start writing again. I’ve always loved the freedom that comes with creative writing, but with school being filled with assigned essays and paragraphs about uninteresting topics, I was rarely in the mood to write on my own terms. It’s been cool to use all of the writing techniques that school has taught me to create something I’m genuinely interested in. I’ve used this time as a reminder as to why I became passionate about English in the first place.
But even returning to those past creative activities wasn’t enough to fill my time. Obviously, being stuck in your house for weeks on end comes with an insane amount of boredom, and this boredom eventually led me to purchase an embroidery starter kit from Amazon. I was eager to learn something new considering my many unproductive days, so I looked up a tutorial and began. Like most things, it wasn’t as easy as I expected. As I continued to practice, I could see myself improving; but, truly, the main thing I learned from embroidering is that even the simplest things are hard. At least the difficulty gives me somewhere to spend all of my freetime, because there’s still too much of that despite all of my new random hobbies.
Between taking a language every year and focusing on AP classes, I didn’t have time to take an art class at South. Besides, I’ve never been naturally good at any form of art, so taking a class specializing in one of my weaknesses was never appealing to me. That’s the one good thing about online school– it gives me time. I have time to explore new interests, especially artistic ones that I would find pointless otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t discovered my hidden artistic talent quite yet, but I’ve been able to find enjoyment in the process of creating– and to me, that’s rewarding enough.