Interviewed by Dana Gornall
COVID-19: the coronavirus. The words are everywhere we look.
It is in our social media feeds, on the news, in almost every single headline, and especially on our minds—all of the time. We are scrambling to change our habits, find food and necessities off empty shelves in the grocery stores, and social distancing has quickly become the new phrase for 2020, often we are left feeling afraid, anxious, on the fence about simple decisions like whether or not to go out of our homes.
But there are bright spots if you know where to look. There are people volunteering to pick up groceries for the elderly, there are companies donating their time and resources to assisting all of us who are trying to stay sane while staying inside so much and for the kids across the nation in need of online education.
And there are people like Lindsay Ford, author and illustrator who is trying to reach families in this time of quarantine. She created, The Quarantine Bears.
What made you draw The Quarantine Bears?
Our current situation. I feel it is in times like these that creative/artistic forms are needed most.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I am always inspired by the world around us. I often draw on current news and hot button topics in my art and books.
Who do you hope to reach?
I hope to reach people who are struggling with the quarantine—particularly families who are stuck indoors with kids. That is a different kind of survival mode altogether.
How do you feel about the recent quarantines?
Truth, I feel pretty normal. I am an artist and spend a lot of my time creating inside. I have been practicing social distancing for years—it just comes with the territory. When I create I go into hiding. Some of the best things can come from seclusion; Shakespeare created plays and poetry during many a plague.
How do you think people are dealing with them?
I try not to get carried away with what others are doing. I think there are the Super Hoarders, the hoarders and then the people just trying to get by. I think the extroverted folks are struggling the most. The introverts are celebrating. I think kids are going nutty—parents too. I like to think that some people are taking the opportunity to teach kids about what is going on and researching together. I think some amazing art is being created during this tough/weird time. And probably a new generation of kids is being spawn. We will go on to call them the QuaranTEENS.
What messages would you like to convey through your artwork and what is going on globally and with the pandemic?
I’m trying to convey that we are not alone. Things like this have happened before and will happen again. Nothing happens without reason. Perhaps we are resetting ourselves as a people as a course for survival. I think that a massive shift in consciousness is happening. I am asking people to shift their thinking and look at things differently. Maybe this isn’t a bad thing, maybe it is helping us, saving us, making us better.
Lindsay Ford is the author, illustrator and publisher for Bread + Clutter Books, an independent publishing house on Vancouver Island. Ford creates the Awkward + Awesome reading series, celebrating everyday heroes and inner weirdos. Find her books and art at her website www.breadandclutter.com or on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest @breadandclutter.
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