Covid-19 has struck all over the world and all of us are trying to get through the varied stay home orders in our cities and countries. We’re all trying to look for ways to stay busy and stay positive. This is what the Artists in Residence series is all about.
I’ve interviewed several artists from different countries and they have been sharing their thoughts and fun projects. I’ve loved doing this series and I hope you enjoy reading it too!
This episode of the series features Rachel Kleinman, an artist from California, USA.
When I asked Rachel how she made it through the stay home orders she was kind enough to share some thoughts and a project for y’all to try!
Q. Rachel tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello everyone! My name is Rachel Kleinman and I am the creator of rwkrafts.com where I share my mixed media, card making, and scrapbooking projects. I have been honored to be a design team member of many art and supply companies that have connected me to such a wonderful community of creative souls. My art journal actually began with scrapbooking when I was in highschool. From there I grew into cardmaking and eventually abstract mixed media. You can find me at www.rwkrafts.com on Instagram @rwkrafts on YouTube at youtube.com/rwkrafts and on Facebook facebook.com/rwkrafts
Q. Is there anything you’ve learnt about yourself during this current lockdown?
The lockdown for me lasted about 12 weeks. I have learned that I am so much more adaptable to change than I ever thought I was. As a teacher of young children, I had to instantly adjust my hands-on teaching style to work with my 3 year old students over a screen. I have learned that when necessary, I can do whatever is needed to be successful in my work.
Q. In what way have you grown during this time?
I have grown by having more confidence in my abilities. My biggest critic and crutch has always been myself. I have always been my biggest obstacle. Over these intense 12 weeks, my self confidence has grown and I’m so grateful for that.
Q. What has been your biggest frustration?
Absolutely, my biggest frustration has been the ever-changing news that’s been so hard to keep up with. I am definitely a person that likes things to be planned out and organized, and these 3 months have been anything but that!
Q. How has art helped you to cope? What activities do you do?
100% art has been my main way of escaping. I have lost my daily routine and found myself staring at a computer screen for well over 7 hours a day. Every evening I would do my best to turn off the electronics and focus on art. This means anything from playing in my art journal, to making a birthday card for a friend, to scrapbooking a recent vacation. Knowing I had the evening time to be with myself and my art supplies definitely helped get me through the harder days!
Q. Do you have any rituals our routines that you have stuck with?
My daily routines were completely thrown out of whack! The one thing I did commit to every single day was to get dressed in work clothes and put on makeup (and of course drink a cup or two of coffee)! If I didn’t dress like it was a normal working day my motivation wouldn’t be there. This morning routine helped me stay on task for the rest of the day. I stuck to it every single day of quarantine!
Q. What is the one activity you suggest folks do at this time? Could be link to a video or a podcast or an activity!
The most important thing for me was to schedule outside time. I found early on that I would go 2-3 days without ever going outside. My husband and I began taking afternoon picnics to the park to soak up as much sun as we could. This definitely helped my mental state! Just get outside!
Also, listen to whatever music you listened to when you were your happiest! I have gone on a true nostalgic kick and love listening to music I enjoyed while in high school and college. It’s a great way to get the edge off!
My husband and I walking along the marina with our dogs… this was out afternoon getaway!
Q. A kind act you’ve witnessed during the lockdown?
I am grateful to live in a city where people respect the needs and well-being of others. I consider the fact that everyone here willingly wears a mask a kind act that I witness every single day. People in my city will patiently wait until you pass them, or go around you when walking on a sidewalk. This is their way of showing that they care for a stranger’s well-being. I am so thankful to be in this community during such a stressful time.
Q. Biggest takeaway from the quarantine to date?
Let the people you love know that you love them. Whether it’s through text, cards, social media likes, or zoom chats… we don’t know how long this will last and please make sure your friends and family know how much they are loved.
Q. Favorite thing you’re eating? Any recipes to share?
I have completely resorted to comfort food throughout this shelter-in-place! My favorites are anything pasta based! I highly recommend the Weeknight Bolognese recipe from the Barefoot Contessa https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/weeknight-bolognese-1 and Alton Brown’s Mac and Cheese https://altonbrown.com/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/… yum!
Q. How are you staying in touch with loved ones?
My mom and dad have now learned how to use zoom! It’s been great to video chat with them since we can’t see each other in person.
Q. What crafty project are you sharing with us today?
A mixed media tags set!