What Artists are Doing During the Pandemic

by Carolyn Edlund

No one is untouched by the dramatic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. How are artists coping, and what are they doing?


The key to life is how well you deal with Plan B


I recently asked artists, “How have your plans changed? What are you doing now?” and received hundreds of responses from around the world. The vast majority of artists were steadfastly positive, saying that they are:

  • Making art
  • Baking bread
  • Resting and healing
  • Entering online art competitions
  • Practicing yoga
  • Updating their art websites
  • Publishing free art courses on YouTube
  • Taking free art courses on YouTube
  • Sending inspirational newsletters
  • Praying
  • Sewing masks for hospital workers
  • Growing produce for food banks
  • Writing a book
  • Working on commissions
  • Playing with toddlers
  • Caring for the elderly
  • Mentoring others
  • Participating in collaborative online art projects
  • Cleaning and reorganizing their studios
  • Learning better business skills
  • Keeping a regular studio schedule
  • Creating coloring pages for others to download and enjoy
  • Making art videos for kids
  • Participating in virtual art walks
  • Donating a portion of their sales to support artists and others in need
  • Transitioning their in-person art classes to online teaching
  • Mastering YouTube and Facebook Live
  • Taking long, hot baths
  • Recording podcasts
  • Encouraging and supporting others
  • Designing home school art lesson plans
  • Going with the flow
  • Committing random acts of kindness

What have you been doing during this time of isolation? 


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!



  1. A very comprehensive list of things to do during the pandemic. Art lovers can also check out http://www.artfervour.com if you want to feel inspired, which has virtual tours of some of the ongoing art exhibitions!

  2. I have been prepping for my online sewing course. Still not home yet, currently on lockdown in Malaysia but I’m making the most of my limited tools/resources and videoing content for my new you tube channel michelleamdethis. I’ve also written a blog post “30 things to do for your business while on lockdown”

  3. I was due to have a solo exhibition in June which was postponed. Consequently I found focusing on my work very hard, until I read a friend’s book in which there was a very engaging raven. Four drawings attempted to depict the intelligence and humor of these Corvids, which have been received well on my networks. Having said that, it is a push-me, pull-me time; do I continue marketing as if all will return to where we were, or do I nourish and feed, thus being prepared to go with the flow? I know I’m not alone!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience and how you found inspiration at a difficult time. You asked about marketing as if everything will return to normal. I believe that it will, and I believe that we should never stop marketing; it is the seed we plant to create sales later on. That said, everyone is different. If you feel that the best work you can do now is creative, then do that. It’s never a poor choice to make art!

  4. Carolyn, I am pulling together a book of essays about how we are all coping with the many new types of grief and loss we are experiencing in this pandemic. May I use your list as part of my article about art/artists? It’s perfect to express the essence of what is happening to artists. I have some good quotes from my friend, Peter McGrain that would go with it. We have no publisher or funding at this point or plan for distribution but the plan is to either give the book away or sell slightly above cost with any profit going to a pandemic relief charity. I would also like to have a digital book version. If I can use your list I would add whatever attribution you like. I am happy to send you our draft table of contents and introduction.
    Kind regards,
    Teresa Schreiber Werth

Speak Your Mind