It’s Hard to Stay Creative in These Times

It’s hard for FSSA’s creative students to stay inspired during the pandemic. Here, senior art major Lily McMahon, works on her piece.

Many students believe that art majors at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) have it easy during the pandemic because unlike all of the other majors, it does not require a lot of space or working together, collaboratively.

One can create art alone and they don’t have to depend on other dancers to send in the choreography, or for your drama partner to be available for a call, and you most certainly do not have to worry about singing in sync with 23 other students.

However, art takes a lot of patience, motivation and creativity, which are all very hard to keep up with during COVID-19. Leonidas Lari explains how hard it truly is to be an art major during this time.

“I haven’t even been staying motivated during corona, not gonna lie. It’s just mad hard,” Leo said.

Art requires a lot of creative flow in order to create genuine art. The issue Leo is running into is the lack of scenery change. He sees the same thing all day, every day. 

“Going to school, going out all the time, there’s just so much inspiration found. You just go out one night with your friends and you just come up with an art piece on the dot and you write it down,” Leo said. “Once you take out that whole element of going out, you’re surrounded by just your house and your family and you see nothing new, the same thing every day”

Leo never realized how much his art relied on his every day life before the pandemic, and neither did seniors Grace Palacios or Lily MacMahon.

Grace has very similar feelings to Leo.  

“What makes it hard is having nothing to inspire me around me,” Grace states. 

When you are not getting the benefits from engaging with the outside world as much, your creativity can greatly suffer, and that’s what these art majors are coming to realize.

Grace explains how she feels that there isn’t much around her to spark inspiration throughout these times. Some art majors feel that the art teachers expect students to have the same work ethic as they did before. 

However, the art majors go to FSSA to learn, they are not professionals yet. It can be hard to be in a position of trying to learn, being at home on Zoom and maintaining motivation and creativity. 

“It’s like having a vacation mindset, at least in my case,” Grace adds.

When you’re on vacation, you do not even want to be thinking about work. If art majors do not feel that they are in the correct head space to be creating art, how are they going to portray their creativity through it?

When you’re not going out and not seeing anyone else, your ideas can get lost within everything else you have on your mind, especially during the pandemic and Lily agrees.

“I’d say the majority of my creativity pre-COVID-19, definitely came from the world around me and the people I spend time with. I don’t think I fully realized that until I was in lockdown struggling to create something trapped in my room,” she said.

A lot of artists get their creative juices from the big word around them, but now their ‘big world’ has become their New York City apartments.

So, what will their teachers, fellow students and themselves do to spark the creativity again? 

— by Julia King ’21