Updated: Jan 18
A project that I started on 24th March 2020 is Isolation Illustrations. These were daily drawings that I created throughout the first national lockdown in the UK. The aim of this project was to reflect on each monotonous day that I was stuck in a small one bed flat. Being in a small space for long periods of time isn’t good for anyone’s mental health and I wanted to do anything to help myself get through this difficult time.
Similarly, a previous project called Daily Comics where I drew events in my day to reflect on the small victories in each day, this project was a useful tool to positively impact my mood.
Tuesday 24th March - The first day of Isolation Illustrations and the beginning of UK lockdown. This style of artwork was very similar to a previous project called 'Daily Comics'.
Tuesday 7th April - Nintendo Switch day! Bright and vibrant, no words were needed to show my excitement.
I tried not to put too much pressure on making the illustrations look a certain way. There was no specific media or topic that the illustration was based on. I find that limiting myself too much can make me feel uninspired. Due to the outside world seemingly falling apart, I needed to give myself the best chance to get inspiration and persevere with this project. I acknowledged that this was a challenging time and I didn’t expect too much of myself and didn’t punish myself when I inevitably lost momentum with the project.
Sunday 26th April - Virtual driving lessons. I reused a drawing of a car and cut it up to make a collage. Drawing and driving were skills that my partner and I tried to teach each other (we both failed).
This was always supposed to be a distraction from the world around me and a not a daily reminder of the feelings of anxiety and isolation that I was experiencing.
Mark making with no clear goal was very enjoyable. I find that creatives can often get too focused on creating a final outcome that they forget to have fun! And when I'm having fun, my best work is produced.
Tuesday 5th May - I remember having fun making these pages. Created by collaging letters that were printed on colourful paper.
The progression of colour and media used in the illustrations shows days where I was struggling with my mental health. I was more adventurous with the colours and materials that I used when I was feeling happy and felt that I had something worthwhile to talk about. The last page of my Isolation Illustrations is Monday 20th July. It was evident to me that this project was no longer bringing me joy because all I could create were a few marks with captions.
Monday 25th May - The simplicity of the illustrations is very nice and expresses my love for pink!
Monday 20th July - The last day that I did Isolation Illustrations. I'd lost the joy in the project.
This project was freeing, with no expectations. It was for me and not for my audience. This helped with my creativity in other projects because I felt like I had something that was truly for myself.
Isolation Illustrations has taught me that it’s ok to quit if something no longer brings you joy. It’s ok to prioritise your mental wellbeing.