The explosion of creativity and art online

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 10:30 PM | comments: 0

The isolation of the pandemic has been rough probably for everyone, even if they've completely avoided sickness. But something extraordinary has happened because of it. People are going to great lengths to be creative, and make art. Certainly famous people are doing it, but so is seemingly everyone else. It's the phenomenon that I often quote Jack White with illustrating (in the documentary It Might Get Loud), that constraints can in fact force a great deal of creativity.

I'm not shy about saying that so much of what's on the Internet, produced by amateurs, is terrible. But people are trying harder, and the good stuff is rising to the top. Best of all, there are more cats, dogs and toddlers. Heck, even the pros, especially the late night hosts, are figuring out how to wing it from home, which is pretty cool.

The Broadway community has been doing some really great stuff. Caissie Levy did this great acoustic version of "Let It Go" (she's the definitive Elsa, by the way, and I'll stand by that having seen her do it). The original cast of Hamilton got together to perform for a little girl who was supposed to see the touring show, in the weirdest way on a "show" that Jack Ryan, John Krasinski is doing. (Also, he's married to Emily Blunt? I didn't know that.) Ben Platt and Dear Evan Hansen-folk did something similar for "You Will Be Found." And that all was just in the last week. Broadway performers and their crews are not rich (not most of them, anyway), and much like our theme park workers here, they're hurting with all of the theaters shut down. I give them a lot of credit for finding ways to do a show anyway.

But even here in the suburbs, sidewalk chalk drawing has become a prominent way to communicate with your neighbors. One of our neighbors made wooden "eggs" for kids to decorate. And for the kids not going to school, they're doing stuff from home as part of their classwork.

Art, and especially music, is something I find myself going deep into lately, in ways I haven't in years. It's what I need to mediate and relax. Seeing live music, and musical theater, are things that bring me great peace, and not having that access is hard. But I'm hitting the archives in ways that I haven't in a long time. I can't play anything or sing, and by extension can't write music, and maybe that's why I started a radio show (it's huge in Alaska!).

It's hard knowing all of the people we planned to see this summer, like friends and family in Seattle, or hosting friends from Norway, won't happen. My optimist side, which has taken a beating, is trying to view this all as an opportunity to make things. It seems like I'm not alone.

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