This year went by so fast indeed. If it wasn’t for art and music, I think I would go insane! Art has been the resource of comfort and joy for a lot of people, more than ever. Being able to create something such as an illustration, a painting, a sculpture, or event just a simple craft helped people enjoy time at home.
There are so many resources online these days that it is easy to learn a new craft. For me it was jewellery making and sewing. I never thought I could do it, but I had an interest for it. Since I didn’t have access to supplies, I used what I had a home: beads, printed satin and other fabrics. After a few tries I discovered something new that I enjoyed making and wearing. I also re-created and re-invented new clothing items from old t-shirts and recycled jeans that I had at home. Being able to talk to artists on a regular basis for my tv show “Stella’s Studio” that I self-produced from my home art studio with a lot of difficulty. Video and audio weren’t up to standards like we have at the Camões TV studios, and I apologise about that, but it gave me a purpose and I was inspiring to write the episodes, film them and edit them all by myself. I thank all the artists and musicians that participated in my show and kept me going. I had a mission: to help other creators by promoting their work even during the lock-down. Zoom interviews and events have now become part of the “normal”.
Networking in person wasn’t possible, art exhibitions weren’t happening for a long time. The online art shows started to appear more and more making it possible for artists to still sell their artwork. This new way of reaching out to collectors is now part of the process of selling art. Change came for the best as other forms of art such as digital art and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) artworks emerged now flooding the art scene giving art collectors a new range of products to choose from. Government and art and culture organizations stepped up to find funding for artists and art-related projects which was received with open arms. Outdoor art opportunities arouse more than previous years, muralists had their hands full beautifying the city and surroundings. From painting utility and mailboxes, cycle barriers and murals, the outdoors became the new canvas to create in a safe environment.
Music also kept me up-beat and sad at the same time. I couldn’t practice with my jazz band and perform in person. After a few tries of frustrating experiences setting up a virtual practice session and crying at the microphone without seeing my band members, we managed to run a regular practice virtually only with audio. The time came when we recorded our own tracks and filmed our own video separately and we made our first music video in quarantine. That was extremely hard. It is now online to remind us that if we want to do something, we can, even if it seems impossible. Since then, we had the chance to perform on our own driveways for our neighbours to enjoy. This was greatly appreciated, and it created a community togetherness that we didn’t have before. Some concerts are already booked for the Summer, we hope to have a chance to perform again.
There is one thing that I enjoy very much, that is cartooning. No matter how grim the Covid news are, the weather, the mood, etc., I feel happy when I am cartooning for the Milénio newspaper. This never stopped during the pandemic, and I am truly glad and fulfilled by this activity.
I am not worried about 2022, it will be a good year, new setbacks will surge, no doubt. I am certain that any artist, just because of our creative ability will make it work no matter what the circumstance.
Let’s welcome our challenges with a smile. Happy 2022!