Covid-19 Reflectoins

Being Alone Together

Abomidorables - May 20 - 27, 2020

My brother and I have been sending each other these creature mash-ups. I will link to his as soon as he posts them! In the meantime, here are some of my favourites. I think there will be many more to follow. 

Below are some older mashups. Every time I see one, I want to make another!

I Miss the Subway -May 19th

I’ve been drawing on the subway for so long that I remember the shift that happened when people started being able to use their phones underground.
 
All of a sudden, you didn’t have to worry about someone catching you drawing them. You could openly sketch the person across from you for minutes on end without being interrupted.
 
Before that, what usually gave you away was the nicely-intentioned (but bored) people to either side of you. Someone would make a remark and your subject would become conscious of the possibility that they were being drawn. Even worse, they would pose! No! No! Go back to how you were sitting when you thought no one was watching!
 

I’m really looking forward to riding the subway. I’ll miss all those mouths and noses though. Masks, like scarves and hats, are very convenient for the artist because, once you learn the trick of them, you can draw them very quickly. But they do take so much away from the face.

Ben Shapiro Left/Right -May 10th

Talking head and general nuisance to the Left, Benjamin Aaron Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator with a Harvard Law degree. He launched The Daily Wire website in 2015 and has been delighting in using it to expose the folly of the Democratic party (and the occasional Republican) to an audience of millions ever since. 

My partner listens to Shapiro for Covid-19 statistics and for his breakdowns and critiques of various governors and governments handling of the crisis. His perspective is always nuanced and it is always backed up by solid statistics. His core beliefs are anti-socialist, which clashes with my own feelings that the social net needs to be strengthened, not turned into various for-profit enterprises. I think both these portraits are accurate, but I drew them both, so of course I do. 

Ben Shapiro as seen by the Left

Ben Shapiro as seen by the Right

Norman Summerton - May 4th, 2020

I like chilling with the talking heads on Your Mom’s House. And they like scouring the internet on a quest to bring us the Norman Summertons of this world. The warmth in his face make his, let’s face it, pretty insane kinks even more… absurd? Twisted? Repulsive? Fascinating. Norman, you’re a freak among freaks. You’re in on the joke and that makes it okay to laugh along. Thanks for being the star of the isolation time freak show. <3

Edward Naps - April 13, 2020

The condo was not so small when we had museums and art galleries for living rooms and parks and playgrounds for our backyard. Edward has learned 90 words since Toronto entered lockdown on March 15th. I know because I record them meticulously in a chart – ctrl f to check for duplicates – and send them to his grandmother. Most of his words are indoor words. Condo words. Except “car”. He waves to the cars from our balcony. “Bye car.” “Red car.” He is obsessed with them. My littlest love. 

Cellphone Zoom with Cory - April 8th, April 22nd

Two sessions of Zoom chat with a DJ friend from Hamilton. I am envious of his free time, his time to create, his time to learn new skills, his time to himself. His features are hard to make out on my cell. The screen flattens but it also simplifies. It feels good to talk and to listen.

Being Alone Zine

A simple, 6 page zine, intended to inspire someone. Probably me. I like these. They give me a sense of accomplishment. They are finished pieces. And I find zines inherently cool. I post mine on a few zine sites and attract the attention of other zine creators. It is good to connect.

The Gladstone Experience

My brother Michael and I were excited to participate in the Gladstone Hotel’s #GrowOp2020. As we set up, we felt like we were in good company with lots of talented people, Queen street is vibrant, the Gladstone is a cultural hub with a long history – a nice opportunity to show 3 months’ work.

The show itself was completely upended by the virus. It was surreal. The city was not yet on lockdown, but I found myself stepping back and away from the show’s attendees. There was never a large enough gathering to be unsafe – we had 500 attendees over the course of all four days – but there were times when even two people in the room felt like a crowd.

These are sketches I drew of my brother and of, well, not my brother, during the show.

Michael

People at a Distance

Michael and I spoke about a feeling we had during the show. We described it to each other, this uncomfortable feeling that made everyone seem somehow more like a stranger. It felt like the hostile beginnings of xenophobia and I never want to feel it again.

Thank you to those who participated in this project. It felt good to connect to you, even at a distance. 

Covid-19 Blog Archives

April 02 2020 – Drawing Cory

March 12-15th, 2020 – The Gladstone

March 2020 – Alone Together Zine