For many of us lockdown has gifted the time to channel our creativity and discover new ways of expressing ourselves that we may have never explored before. There’s something especially satisfying about creating simply because you want to – not because you’re obliged to. Like one of our favourite London-based artists, Babak Ganjei said, ‘Art is the thing nobody asked you to do’ – and there is something really liberating about that. It’s this freeing feeling that can sometimes be the perfect antidote to those days when you’re feeling a bit trapped, lost or isolated.
There’s no right or wrong way to express yourself artistically but if you’re looking for inspiration or guidance in channelling the artist within, we’ve compiled some of our favourite online resources; from digital life drawing classes and artist Q&As to virtual gallery tours and businesses delivering top-notch artistic supplies during lockdown.
A platform representing emerging artists, Partnership Editions is one of our go-to destinations for discovering new work. During lockdown, they are continuing their mission to make exceptional art accessible to all by hosting virtual conversations with their artists as well as establishing Partnership Creations, a video hub boasting a wide range of videos from studio tours to tutorials led by their artists. All classes are free to access but if you are in the position to do so, they request a voluntary £10 donation, 100% of which will be donated to The Trussell Trust.
For any knitters among you, this library of knitting patterns is gold. Created by Danish, female-led company Spektakelstrik, these patterns (available in English) are perfect for beginner-intermediate knitters who are ready to challenge themselves and take their skills to the next level. From marshmallow-like vests to chunky sweaters, the Scandi-chic patterns are available to purchase online and will keep you busy for days on end.
And for anyone new to knitting, RJ Knits is a brilliant Youtube Channel that will have you ready to take it up a notch in no time.
If you’ve ever been tempted to join a life drawing class but have found yourself intimidated by the thought of it, here’s a perfect way to dip your toe in from the comfort and privacy of your own home. As part of their online offering, The Royal Academy hosted a one and a half-hour online life drawing class which can now be viewed on their website.
Founded and run by curator and art historian, Katy Hessel, The Great Women Artists is a powerful platform dedicated to championing and celebrating female art, today and throughout history. During lockdown, they have gone virtual with their usual events and are hosting online Q&As and podcasts discussing all things art and gender in an accessible and entertaining manner.
You can always count on the Tate to deliver inspiring and accessible art content. From long before lockdown, the Tate has been a brilliant source of artistic inspiration and guidance and their commitment to bring art to all has only strengthened during this time. According to your area of interest, you can explore their vast library of video which is categorised according to medium e.g. painting, drawing, sculpture. Our favourite series from this library is ‘How to Paint Like . . . ‘ in which the hosts take inspiration from a famous painter’s style and give insight and tips for how to emulate it.
Although temporarily closed for the foreseeable future, MoMA is inviting audiences to visit them digitally through an exciting calendar of online events that people from around the world can freely attend and watch. From virtual lecture panels to artist Q&As, be sure to stay tuned with what they have coming up. For more hands-on interactivity, check out MoMa’s range of online courses and workshops on Coursera.
If you want to brush up on your technical art skills (or introduce yourself to them entirely), Cass Art is a favourite among all London artists and art-students and has a selection of tutorial videos that break down the basics of different art techniques. From watercolours to lino printing, get inspired by the videos then head over to their online shop and purchase the high-quality supplies that you’ll need to get started.
A curated collection of online workshops hosted by independent artists and makers, Yodomo is the perfect destination if you know that you want to get creative but are not quite sure how yet. From bookbinding webinars to tutorials on how to make macrame plant holders, check out their website for a treasure trove of creative projects that you can get stuck into.
VIRTUAL GALLERY TOURS & EXHIBITIONS
One of our favourite things to do when travelling is to check out the local galleries in a destination. While this is impossible to do right now, many galleries are opening their digital doors, allowing you to take virtual tours of their spaces as well as attend online exhibitions to see the works on display. See below for some galleries that you can visit (digitally) today.
J P Getty Museum – Online walkthrough the Michael Angelo Exhibition with curator Julian Brooks
The Met – The Met 360° Project
The National Portrait Gallery: Self Portraits Exhibition