Let's make some dang art March 27, 2020 5:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm finding art is a really useful thing for putting my brain somewhere other than *waves hands around floridly* for a while. And I know a lot of folks on MetaFilter make art, or have made art, or would like to make art. So, hey: let's make some art! Good art, bad art, first-timer art. Let's make stuff, and talk about stuff you'd like to make, and share what you're making, and share resources and guides and inspiration and so on.

I don't have any structure in mind for this; this isn't an art challenge, or a schedule of activities, or a closed-door thing where you're supposed to only make specific kind of stuff or only stuff that's Sufficiently Good. I just want this to be an excuse, a prompt, a jumping off point to go ahead and sit down and do some art for the sake of it, to share and talk about it and support each other, and maybe figure out if this should be an ongoing thing.

Let's not worry about capital-A "Art"; making art, doing crafting, making stuff as a mode of expression or experimentation or just plain processing or distracting yourself is the whole idea and we can skip the cultural baggage of assessing what's worthy and what isn't. If you think it's sorta kinda maybe art-adjacent? It's art, I said so, come on in and join us.

Been working on something? Great, let's see it!

Did something years ago? Show it off, tell us about it!

Doodling nervously while talking to family on the phone? Lay it on us!

If you're in the "I always thought about doing x, but..." camp—and a lot of folks are—talk about it! Ask how to get started, ask what's worked for other people. Want to figure out if there's even a thing you want to try? Always wondered what doing x was like, or how hard/easy it is to get started? Ask away!

If you've got cool resources for people getting started or trying to learn some new stuff, great! Share it!

If folks want to suggest or organize specific things or spin off dedicated threads for this or that, that'd be great. I likely don't have the spare energy to get too involved in wrangling a more specific thing right now, but that's one of the nice things about a community like this: we can share around the effort to make stuff happen. So if you've got a wild hair you want to chase down, go for it.

So: art! Let's make some art, and share some art. Good art, bad art, art you worry people will think is bad but you're secretly proud of, art where you don't know if it's art. It's art, it's fine. Let's do it.
posted by cortex (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:36 PM (95 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

I love this, thanks for posting cortex.

When I'm low on creative spoons I like to draw other people's original characters or avatars. I'm too specific about drawing my own and I feel like that constrains me sometimes. If people want to post or MeMail me pictures or descriptions of their characters, or video game avatars, or themselves in a cute outfit, or their pet in a funny pose, or whatever, I can't guarantee I'll get to everything but I would love the inspiration!
posted by brook horse at 6:08 PM on March 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I painted this last summer. I really want to do more painting, but I never seem to find the time.

I have made time to get better at keys and production. I make an angry recording of me playing my feelings out the other day on the Roland. Been a musician for 40 years, but it was the first time I ever did that.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:09 PM on March 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

just finished a decoupage cigar box with Horemheb on top and Akhenaten talatat on the sides. 3rd box in my pharoahs of the18th Dynasty limited edition.

re-framed a copy of a 1957 military sanitation book in a shadow box.
posted by clavdivs at 6:27 PM on March 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm pretty good at winning in Pictionary using very crude hastily-drawn sketches, but I'm not sure how I could share that here.

Before I vaingloriously post a link to my Flickr account, does photography fit into this topic?
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:37 PM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Heck yeah photography counts. As far as I’m concerned shitposty steamed hams photoshops count.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:38 PM on March 27, 2020 [11 favorites]

I made this scarf and this knitalong (halfway done) since this happened.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:45 PM on March 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

Our illustrious leader has spoken! Here you go. Not Pro Quality by any stretch, but I'm slowly improving. And anyway it's fun!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:47 PM on March 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

Today I made a collage in augmented reality - collage-retreat-01 - and I hope to make a few more. I've never done collages before and I'm giving it a go. The byte app on iOS has a very casual AR photos feature which was useful.

I was prompted by Collage Retreat, something Able Parris, who I believe is a designer in NYC, started on Twitter along similar lines as this thread - to make stress-free collages if it helps in some way to deal with the times. If you go to collageretreat.wtf, Parris has also shared a bunch of images in Dropbox to get anyone started. Just passing it along.

Thanks, cortex.
posted by shortfuse at 6:55 PM on March 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

I finished this yarn yesterday. It's a mix of a roving I bought from etsy and some fleece I have (slowly) been spinning up, and which winds up in most projects because I bought the entire fleece. It's the first shearing from a local Lincoln ewe. Her name is Ophelia.

I'm trying to spin more art yarns, and I think this counts -- it's purposely overspun and almost a wrapped yarn, so there's an effect a bit like beads of color set off by the dark Lincoln wool. I want to wash and set it and then it will probably be a hat.

I haven't been feeling terribly like making, but it's starting to come back, which I'm grateful for. I think tomorrow will be a weaving day, here's something I'm working on. Warp is a commercial yarn left over from a knitting project and weft is more handspun from Ophelia. I think it will become a skirt when it's done.
posted by kalimac at 7:10 PM on March 27, 2020 [16 favorites]

I've been turning some wooden bowls on a spring pole lathe I made. By bowl 8 or 9 they were worth keeping. Or rather giving away. But at the moment I'm taking a break from turning to make a replica of a dovetailed wooden box that was found in a Roman shipwreck.
posted by jedicus at 7:30 PM on March 27, 2020 [24 favorites]

This is the best thing.
I put my recent angry and pandemic art in this blog post. I have always taken lots of progress photos so I may do a follow-post with some of that. Thank you everyone for sharing!
posted by Glinn at 7:46 PM on March 27, 2020 [10 favorites]

I've been making a lot of bowls on my lathe. Segmented bowls, square bowls, basic bowls, bowls with holes in them. You know, bowls.

My shop is kind of torn apart right now as I'm rearranging things, but in a day or two I hope to make another one, or maybe a vase. I'll post some updates here if I do that.

Edit: High fives jedicus! Can we see the lathe?
posted by bondcliff at 7:48 PM on March 27, 2020 [38 favorites]

I was going to take a collage and mixed media class at a local community art school this spring. Obviously that’s out the window now, but I’m still experimenting with collages on my own.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:52 PM on March 27, 2020 [12 favorites]

Holy bowls, those are amazing. Dang!
posted by Glinn at 7:52 PM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

If I had enough money I would own dozens - hundreds - thousands of turned wooden bowls! Absolutely beautiful.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:06 PM on March 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have a shit-ton of pretty paper but I seem to be at a total loss for "what the hell do I do with all of it". Help?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 PM on March 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Here is a link to some of my artwork on Instagram. The portraits are what I aspire to do more of, but have been distinctly lacking in motivation lately. The Halloween pictures were just for fun.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:59 PM on March 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

Since we switched to a digital D&D game, I finally finished my character portrait and I’m contemplating painting a couple of maps for our DM, but I’m not sure how to figure out what would be useful to him without spoiling myself. Maybe I’ll just do some for the one-shot I was thinking about running, if I can figure out Roll20 enough.
posted by tautological at 9:22 PM on March 27, 2020 [11 favorites]

Greg_Ace, I really like your photo titled "A Touch Of Color." Incidentally, it reminds me a bit of an artist trading card I made a while back.

I make what it says on my Instagram tin: greeting cards, artist trading cards, and the occasional mixed media piece or home decor item.
posted by Carouselle at 9:47 PM on March 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

i thought neil diamond's sweet caroline rewrite for the time of covid would be better, though i enjoyed seeing him sing it in front of his cozy fire. all day monday, working from home, that he kept the line "how can i hurt when i'm holding you" rankled and percolated in the back of my mind, until i found myself having mostly rewritten a well-known beatles song. it's kinda facile, and i now see that something like it has been done before and since. but this one is mine. figured out the chords, recorded it into my phone, then posted "i wanna wash my hands" to mefimusic and shared it with some friends. doing so gave me some comfort for a little while. today i've been thinking about "brother can you spare a dime" and "close to you," but i've been feeling too grim and pollen-ravaged today and veer into the doom too soon to get past the first couple lines of either.

draw sometimes. take some photos. i think i mentioned elsewhere i make found language antipoetry, which has paled some with the trainable neural nets. mostly it arises from being a bit of a smartass.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:29 PM on March 27, 2020 [10 favorites]

I was going to go on a long hike this year, do a bunch of drawings on the trail, and hopefully learn how to do a bunch of drawings on the trail. To that end, I started a daily drawing project. The hiking plans suddenly changed for obvious reasons, but not before I got most of my gear drawn.

The whole project is on Instagram. I'm at a bit of a loss over what to draw now that the thru-hiking theme seems to have fallen by the wayside, but I'm still doing daily sketches.
posted by surlyben at 12:11 AM on March 28, 2020 [12 favorites]

My two works in progress are embroidering my denim jacket,
And a series of mosaics, I just finished this panel of a dune mole chasing earthworms under beach sand. Those crumbly looking bits of sand are from the ceramic panel of a gas heater that I smashed up (it was already broken!)
Am going to start some lettering on the back of the jacket today.
posted by Zumbador at 1:12 AM on March 28, 2020 [13 favorites]

Along with all of the basic supply shopping, one of the last things I grabbed pre-shutdown was a sizeable 4'x4' canvas. (Which was fun to carry home on foot.) Maybe this is the nudge I need to start making it less blank!
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 2:11 AM on March 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

It's craft more than art, but I repurposed my make up brushes for painting and am painting all the miniatures that came with my board games over the years. It's very relaxing because it forces concentration and a sort of stillness in your body, and there's some creativity involved, without needing to use too much brain.
posted by lollusc at 2:13 AM on March 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

I've been repairing socks I knit a few years ago by cutting off the holey feet, picking up the stitches at the ankle and knitting a new foot. I am having a lot of fun with creating new color combinations between the old top of the sock and the new foot. Here's a recent example. Repaired sock on the left, old sock on the right.
posted by mcduff at 7:04 AM on March 28, 2020 [13 favorites]

i don't want to link it, but i'm on a roll with a bunch of fanart for an anime i finally finished that really got to me. i've been basically too depressed and busy to even pick up a pencil for the last year when art was an everyday thing for me for all my life, so it feels extremely good to have a drive for it again. i even decided i wanted to make an amv for it, even though i've never made an amv, because a fanmix wouldn't convey my ~feelings~ enough, and i figured out the video editing software and all on the fly and hyperfocused on that for a whole day and it came out just how i saw it! magical!
posted by gaybobbie at 7:15 AM on March 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

I’m proud of this picture I took on a walk. My instagram is all pictures I take on neighborhood walks, mostly from a very small area I frequent. It’s weird how after years of walking around, there are still interesting things I haven’t noticed, on every walk.
posted by The Toad at 7:42 AM on March 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

mcduff I love that sock thing! What a cool idea.
posted by Glinn at 8:04 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd gotten a bunch of embroidery floss back in late February, ostensibly to use for mending a few old shirts. Naturally, the shirts still have holes—but I'm pleased with my first two in-progress embroidery projects. (I figured I should learn how to actually make some pretty stitches before I start mucking around with clothes I'd like to wear again. I'll get around to mending them eventually.) I have a bunch of old scrap fabric lying around, so all in all, it was a pretty cheap hobby to take up, and super easy to learn.

I'm finding that embroidery appeals to me for the same reasons knitting does: it's meditative, portable, and easy to pick up for short bursts. And the end product is so satisfying. Besides, repeatedly stabbing fabric with a little needle is a decent stress reliever (and probably better than stabbing, um, anything/anyone else).

The floss set I got included a bunch of colors I'm unlikely to embroider with anytime soon... might be a good opportunity to re-learn how to make those little macrame friendship bracelets I used to make as a kid, too. I know a young 'un who'd probably appreciate a bright orange bracelet.
posted by cellar door at 8:21 AM on March 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Oh! And let's not forget Celestarium. Which is taking forever to knit, but if the night sky isn't a work of art, I don't know what is.
posted by cellar door at 8:44 AM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

I just finished this cross-stitch pattern last night.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:52 AM on March 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

High fives jedicus! Can we see the lathe?

Here it is in-progress-but-almost-finished at the Woodwright's School workshop where I made it. (To be clear that's Roy Underhill in the photo, not me.)
posted by jedicus at 9:23 AM on March 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

Thanks to some (positive!) peer pressure over on mltshp, a couple months ago I bought some rolls of film for the first time in ages. I took the film camera and my digital on a walk with the dog, and took some shots to compare the two. Here's digital (Olympus EPL-2 micro 4/3) versus film (Ricohmatic TLR, Ilford HP5 film).

I also did a little retrospective of the business travel I've done over the past decade+. I've been fortunate to be able to go to some interesting places while someone else pays the tab, so I've brought my camera with me when I knew I'd have some free time. In chronological order: 2008 2009 2009 again 2010 2010 again 2010 again again 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2016 again 2017 2018 2019
posted by backseatpilot at 9:43 AM on March 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Here's an album of my [terrible] paper crafting. I haven't taken pics of "The Quarantine Collection" yet, but I'm still adding to it. It's mostly greeting cards, mostly for my young nephews and niece. There's some bookmarks in there as well. And yes, my sister did have a Nightmare Before Christmas themed baby shower! She's just as weird as me, though motherhood may just make her weirder. hehe
posted by MuChao at 10:01 AM on March 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

I started this years ago and think I might actually finish it before lockdown is over
posted by supermedusa at 10:08 AM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Bondcliff your bowls are incredible!! true works of art!
posted by supermedusa at 10:12 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

One of the weird things about suddenly getting extra time in my day (no commute, WFH, which is the best possible outcome of shelter-in-place, and, hey, look, it's white male white-collar privilege!) is the total sense of malaise. I've got a ton of visual art and music tools, and a fairly significant amount of visual art skill, at least (music.. less so). Desire to actually sit down and do is very lacking, though. Which I suppose is broadly the same as all the other time, only now I can blame pandemic stress instead of just general lack of motivation. That said, though, I'm teaching my girlfriend (who is sheltering-in-place with me, for which I am extremely, extremely, grateful beyond anything I can express) Ableton Live (Lite, thanks e-bay Launchpad a few months ago), and therefore learning some more of it myself.

I did just pick up my acoustic guitar to practice scales. Girlfriend plays french horn, took lessons for more than 15 years, and piano before that, so I'm relatively weak (3 or 4 years of lessons, 25 years ago). I definitely relate to something cortex posted a few weeks ago, about the relative accessibility of an acoustic instrument vs. something like Reason / Live / Fruity Loops, where you have SO MANY THINGS TO FIDDLE WITH. In general I am a person who enjoys fiddling, but for some reason the music-creation feedback loop doesn't work for me. I basically suck at guitar, but I'm sitting here playing scales in various positions -- ok, mostly first position 'cause I'm a scrub -- and I'm definitely getting more precise. Maybe if I do this for another few months I may get out of the "ugh, I know I'm not good but I don't know how to be better" place.
posted by Alterscape at 10:24 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ya'll are some talented people. Excellent to see such creativity!

I started taking a pottery class in January of 2019, and have been taking them since. It's nice to take a class and get help from my instructor, but the access to open studio at the Art League (Alexandria, VA) is really what' been super great. Right now classes are on hold, and the studio is closed. It's so weird to not have access at all to my new hobby, given that I've been going to the studio almost every weekend since at least last summer.

I have photos of all my pieces in various stages of production in the "Pottery Notes" app on my phone, but only two that I've posted where it's readily available online. Been thinking of doing a simple blog with pictures and notes on glazing/decoration/etc, mostly for my own records since I'm still a beginner. At the moment, though, it feels like a bit too much heavy lifting for where my mind is at...
posted by gemmy at 2:12 PM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm normally doing a lot of creative stuff every day, but since all this... I just can't. Its all just gone and I'm really disturbed by the fact that I can't seem to get anything to... manifest. I'll try again tomorow.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:21 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

WalkerWestridge, what medium? Maybe we could make some suggestions!
posted by Glinn at 2:46 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I made some things! They were these super-simple little paper bowls that I had some preprinted patterns for, where you cut here and fold there and glue there and you make a little bowl-type thing. I just never got around to doing them, and I grant that it's kind of the paint-by-numbers level, but I now have a little bowl to store paperclips in and I have three more bowls that I am going to give away to workmates when this all is over and that makes me quite happy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:40 PM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos, I had this DIY papercraft carousel template site for you -- posting in case anyone else has pretty paper and wants a project idea.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:47 PM on March 28, 2020

I'm not much of an artist. Two things that I really like are symmetry, and also things that have to do with labyrinths or mazes (thanks, David Bowie!). Sometimes, I try to put together the two and make mazes that are perfectly symmetrical. Here's one that I made in Microsoft paint awhile back: maze1

Here's one where I made a symmetrical maze inside of a symmetrical maze: maze2

Not much, and I've never shared these before. But in the spirit of the moment...
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:56 PM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Finally started my first miniature kit this afternoon. It holds my attention in a nice way, and I'm looking forward to doing it bit by bit.
posted by Mouse Army at 3:57 PM on March 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

I've been photographing subway art. Now has been a good time to catch up on posting/feel nostalgic for riding the rails.
posted by ferret branca at 5:45 PM on March 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

This is art-ish: I wanted to see what the world would look like if you swapped the time dimension with one of the space dimensions in a movie and got this.
posted by clawsoon at 5:48 PM on March 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

Also, I read this in Robin Sloan's email newsletter and have been trying to bear it in mind, when posting my li'l photos seems pointless:

"I don’t like the 'breathless creative exhortation' genre any more than you do, but, I have spared you for enough years that I think I’ve stored up some credit: which I will now spend.

We’re entering a stretch during which no subject, no task, other than this pandemic and its prevention will seem to 'matter,' and I am here to insist, as you contemplate the next level of the video game you were building, the next stitch in the fanny pack you were designing, the next edition of the newsletter you just started:

It matters.

The diagnostic tool is straightforward: Do you want every glorious weirdo you’ve ever followed to morph into the same obsessive faux public health expert? YOU DO NOT!"
posted by ferret branca at 5:52 PM on March 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

I love the woodwright shop and am jealous of jedicus, jealous!
posted by clavdivs at 6:53 PM on March 28, 2020

Here's me pulling a print for the Metafilter card exchange.

I'm trying to alternate my art so as not to burn out, switching between carving new blockprints, random woodshop fun, working on my Kickstarter zine, and painting little Warhammer mans.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:06 PM on March 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

I’ve been regretting that I haven’t been arting hardly at all lately. Here’s a tiny thing I did last month that seems years ago now. I never finish anything, usually just make sketchy little drawings of motorcycles and skulls while sitting at a bar, so I’ll have to really change up my workflow to produce anything in these quarantimes.
posted by rodlymight at 7:07 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I picked up a half-finished crochet project from a few years ago: a shawl which I intended to give to my mom but she insisted it was too nice and she couldn't possibly use it (which was Mom in a nutshell) and it went from a fun gift to a big ol' argument and then she died, so that project has some bad memories for me. Somehow, working on it during a pandemic just seems to fit (and it's quite pretty and if I ever finish it, I could wear it and if people ask about it I could maybe tell the story but I probably wouldn't because it's a downer).
posted by Quietgal at 7:40 PM on March 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

Great topic, ferret branca!
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:30 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thanks, Greg_Ace!
posted by ferret branca at 8:50 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am art challenged. Any kind of art. Creativity is not my strength. Every link in the thread is terrific.

I did binge watch season 35 of Bob Ross painting. Great series to watch and nap to and then wake up to realize that you missed a painting or two, but those puffy clouds...
posted by AugustWest at 9:13 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have been doing a bunch of space paintings! I make all the stars by hand with a gel pen and it's very therapeutic and meditative. Here's my most recent finished acrylic painting
and my most recent watercolor
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 9:49 PM on March 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

There are so many talented folks out there! I'm in awe :)

Here's some of my work. Just a few doodles and a splash of watercolor.

Thanks to everyone for sharing!
posted by NewShoo at 7:16 AM on March 29, 2020 [6 favorites]

I love this thread so much! Reading about what people are doing and seeing so many great images has been inspirational to me. I have been in a funk and sleeping a lot and I stopped doing art things and other activities that I enjoy, so I am pretty sure I'm depressed. But that's better than being manic and my biggest fear is slipping into mania right now. So I made some art about it.

I made the background about a month ago but the idea of doing all the words exhausted me. So I made some other / lyric / art using dymo and worked my way up to this, which is a birthday gift for a friend who is also bipolar. Now that it's done, I am very happy with it and I feel like I am lighter and a little less down. And I want to do more! Yay!

Many thanks to cortex for this space. I look forward to seeing more dang art from mefites!
posted by danabanana at 7:51 AM on March 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

I’ve been trying to use my quarantine time to catch up on comics I need to finish (which is not actually relaxing, but that’s another story). On Friday, I finally finished a comic travel journal about my trip to Dublin two months ago (which now feels like it was years ago). I’m hoping to actually do a lot more random doodling, too.
posted by heurtebise at 7:58 AM on March 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh man, danabanana, that lyric hits me like a truck every time. I love that take on it.

And hey I'm loving seeing all of this stuff! Thanks everybody for sharing stuff or talking about what you're up to so far. I really feel like artmaking stuff is easy to both let fall by the wayside and to let just lurk under the radar, and I'd love to find a way to make it something folks feel like they can share and chat about more easily and regularly on the site.

I've been doing a bunch of linocut experimentation since around the start of February and am really enjoying it all in all; a couple days ago I was halving a rough one and ended up just almost spitefully getting going on this angular crow and it, like, helped? Didn't fix things but gave me something to put a bunch of anxious energy into which was good.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on March 29, 2020 [13 favorites]

I am going to tackle fixing the wonky drawer on a side table today - and have already decided that as part of that, I'm also going to dig through the bowl of spare keys that have built up in there and see if there's any that don't go with anything any more. And with those....

...uh, some kind of wind chime, I think? I dunno, I'm gonna wing it here. Maybe paint little flowers on each one before stringing them up into some kind of thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:41 AM on March 29, 2020

Thanks for making this thread, cortex. It's been amazing seeing what everyone else has created, and getting that little boost to make more myself, and do things that aren't scroll through facebook and cry.

(Also I love love love your crow. There have been so many crows outside of my window lately, and they are all magnificent.)
posted by kalimac at 8:42 AM on March 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

Late to this, and I WFH normally so I don't really have more time for making stuff, and have been mushing up almost every piece of clay I start making something from, but here is one of my better raku pieces from a few months ago. About a foot tall. I've got a wet piece in progress on the wheel.
posted by wens at 9:40 AM on March 29, 2020 [9 favorites]

I crocheted a little lace lilac handkerchief (a test for a larger piece) since "working from home," though it took on some unanticipated overtones in light of the pandemic, especially when I was trying to find ways to place the blossoms randomly. (I eventually fired up my scrapbooking robot for a more organic approach).

Now I'm using that as the basis for an impromptu zine I'm making with my phone's document scanner.

I have a bit of pent-up nervous energy, apparently. Whatever! Make your own fun.
posted by wreckingball at 12:46 PM on March 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

it took on some unanticipated overtones in light of the pandemic

It seems unlikely that the CDC would officially endorse it, but nice work otherwise.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:58 PM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I realized that I've been taking photos in some form or another all my life. I started uploading them online to flickr in 2006, using mostly DSLR cameras and adding cellphone photos to instagram in 2010.
posted by Lynsey at 1:58 PM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, is there a tag we can use as we share our stuff around? I've been using #covidcarve for my distanced printmaking, but can totally add a #mefiart or the like to future posts for ease of browsing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:23 PM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

New idea for the key wind chime thing! It's still fated to be a wind chime, but I also found the plastic beads from a bracelet that busted - and spotted someone selling a toy metal colander on eBay that's the same color as the beads. So I bid on it, and will use that as the base for the key chime so I can embellish it with the beads (and so it thus looks a little less like I just threw random shit into a string).

While that's on order, I satisfied the "must produce something today" urge by carefully applying washi tape to some plain metal tins so that they're a bit more attractive; I hoard jars and tins of various sizes, which usually get repurposed into tea canisters or other dry food storage.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:39 PM on March 29, 2020

This is delightful! I made this bee for a mosaic art show that was canceled. I'll show it to the internet instead.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 5:12 PM on March 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

So not good art, but I still think they are funny and maybe someone else will too. I have been doing distance learning with my students over the past several weeks, and have been using a mixture of live classes and videos. To go along with the videos I have been making silly introduction sequences that I uploaded to Youtube (playlist) to share with you :). There are five of them so far and they are between like 20 seconds and maybe 90 seconds in length.

I never did anything like that before, so you can see my proficiency increasing from video 1 to video 5 (video 4 and video 5 are my favorites). Also, you can notice that I bought an inexpensive external microphone and it really improved the sound quality.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:39 PM on March 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

I painted this for my sister as a joke, and it now hangs in her house. [Its my 2nd-ever portrait!]

And I was recently inspired to make a collage, so I made one of Sofya Kovalevskaya, the first woman PhD mathematician, out of some magazines and an old differential equations text book.
posted by klausman at 7:48 PM on March 29, 2020 [7 favorites]

Literaryhero -- I liked them all, and they're getting better!
posted by klausman at 8:22 PM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I painted this for my sister as a joke, and it now hangs in her house.

Good lord that is fantastic.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:01 PM on March 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

My photos of sheds, which has been on the blue before.

Poems and photos from Oliva, Spain.
posted by dobbs at 6:18 AM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Right before the plague really got rolling, I took a short gyotaku workshop. It was so cool! I had so much fun! I made this - I brought the jellyfish cyanotype with me and added the black gyotaku print from the head of a rockfish.

I want to make more combined cyanotype and gyotaku things but I am just sort of not able to make anything right now, I don't know why, I end up just playing hours of minecraft or reading old cozy mysteries. Hopefully I'll get some energy and change that. Meanwhile here's another cyanotype from about a year ago, here's one from last fall and my insta in general is where everything goes these days, from art photography to darkroom prints to phone pictures of my dogs. Follow if you like elk, so many pictures of elk!
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:04 PM on March 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

My beading things were in the house, so over the last week I completed my third wire-wrap project, a chunk of amethyst with some citrine chips. I am still having trouble with wrapping the bail tightly and neatly enough for my taste, and then I get all flustered and just want to be done so the ends are a mess. Hopefully this one does not poke me like the first two, I think at least all the ends are pointed outwards-ish. Next I might cut the wires off my first attempt and start over, it made me bleed the last time I wore it.

Now working on a necklace for my roommate's birthday in May, a druzy agate bear pendant in the center with blue beads in triple swoopy bits. I was able to get it most of the way done while she was watching a livestream and never even noticed what I was doing. Even when I asked 'for reasons totally unconnected with any birthdays what is your preferred necklace length?' Must go out and dig in the garage to find the rest of my supplies, I think I have some clasps but some things got lost in the last move so we shall see. Will take a pic and post it when she's not looking.

Started an account on WorldAnvil and began filling out a fantasy world I've been building in notebooks for almost two decades. Feeling weird about it, just describing this world without any plans to use it for anything, but it needs to get out of my damn head and this seems like a helpful framework.
posted by buildmyworld at 1:45 PM on March 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Hey buildmyworld - I actually unearthed some seed beads and beading wire and some earring findings that I bought long ago in a vague "let me try this" notion, and I've finally accepted that I will not use them. Want them (for free)?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 PM on March 30, 2020

I might take you up on that EmpressCallipygos, it might stop me from impulse buying all the shiny beads. I'll MeMail you.
posted by buildmyworld at 7:39 AM on March 31, 2020

A thing that I have a hard time with sometimes is crossing the gap between just abstractly wanting to be making something and having a sense of purpose and momentum about specifically, concretely working on Some Particular Thing in that moment. There's a lot of days where "make some art" is on my handwavey list of things I'd like to do but I haven't got anything more specific than that and I just end up not doing any art after all.

And, so: they really aren't the only thing I make art of, but I do continue to come back around regularly to Menger sponges because it's nice to have the "what" part of making some art solved sometimes when I'm otherwise struggling to get started, so I can just start thinking about the "how" instead. Remove all that decision paralysis, slice the Gordian knot, and just start thinking about what I can try this time that's different from all the ones I've made before, or improves an older idea, or introduces some new challenge or wrinkle.

Which is the deal with this morning's linocut, where I sat down thinking "fuck it I should carve something", stared at a blank square of lino for ten minutes without getting any real inspiration, changed tack to "fuck it I should carve a Menger sponge", sketched the basic outline of one on the lino, and then moved on to "okay what next though". Which turned out to be some texture experiments, loosely improvising the lines and boundaries and then going from there.

I'd like to be able to pull that trick with a broader variety of subjects, to be able to trick my brain into just making a decision to do x or y or z as an art piece without needing to either (a) be super inspired or (b) go through a whole agonizing brainstorming process, but that's still a work in progress. So it's nice to have a few reliable things to fall back on, and convincing myself that I wasn't being lazy or repetitive but was just working a lot on a subject I like helped unblock me a lot in the last few years as I've been making art more. Don't let yourself be ashamed of having a fixation or a favorite subject! Fuckin' do what works, and do it again. There's a lot of craft to artmaking and it comes from practice and iteration.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:29 AM on March 31, 2020 [7 favorites]

A thing that I have a hard time with sometimes is crossing the gap between just abstractly wanting to be making something and having a sense of purpose and momentum about specifically, concretely working on Some Particular Thing in that moment.

I feel this comment. I've been spending the past several mornings staring at the howling void of a blank page, and then making a bunch of false starts and wrong choices. I had a plan for what to draw, but it was changed by the pandemic.

A professor once told me that the difference between Serious Art and everything else was repetition. If you draw something once, people will be like "that's a nice doodle," but if you do it 100 times, people will be like "ah, I see you are getting at something," even if they might not even like the image you are making. I don't know that he was right, but you do end up with a nice coherent art show if you draw the same thing a bunch.

Repetition is a constraint, which reminds me of the Eames' video Design Q & A, and what they had to say about the necessity of design constraints.

So thank you for the reminder. Maybe the next drawing will be a bit easier.
posted by surlyben at 4:14 PM on March 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've started plotting out a zine (figuring out what's going on a page, what sorts of images I want, etc) about coming to terms being a nonbinary/agender person. The more I work on it the more I'm amazed at how long it took me to come to this realization.
posted by curious nu at 4:25 PM on March 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I made a book that accidentally turned into two books. Youngest fell head over heels for Hamilton (I hate musicals and so have a musical-obsessed child naturally) and I made her a lyrics book. I screwed up midway and made a second better version so she now has two.

I blogged and photographed the process here and I am pretty pleased with the second hardback.

She wanted her favourite lyric on the cover which to my delight is “you want a revolution? I want a revelation”. The cover has Hamilton’s signature on it and I filled any blank pages in the book with historic paintings, cast photos and fan art for her.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:31 PM on March 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well, I have a shit-ton of photos here on Flickr, but I'll definitely be posting more.
posted by notsnot at 5:56 PM on March 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

dorothyisunderwood, a.) holy shit, you're fandom royalty, and b.) none of the images in your link work :(
posted by moonlight on vermont at 6:40 PM on March 31, 2020

Where is my crown, o peasants? I have only this delightful tinfoil cap I wear.

I had the images set to my default locked-down journal, but now they are public and you can see my bookmaking in grumbling glory.

I am now making a birthday present for my sister who is learning Kazakh for some reason. One of them is a very floral print notebook with "motherfucker" in Kazakh written in an elaborate font on the cover. I am more than unreasonably pleased with this and grateful to the internet which supplied much cursing for her present.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:33 PM on March 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh, for my 3rd-ever portrait, I painted two friends, Z and E, who got engaged recently. In the scene, Z‘S head is on Tom Cruise’s body, and he is jumping on Oprah’s couch, where E’s head is on Oprah’s body, and she is sitting on the edge of the couch with a wtf expression. I gave it to them and they laughed, and now it hangs in their house.

My latest project is a collage of the Iron Giant (in “gun mode”), destroying old downtown Portland. We’ll see if it gets done anytime soon.
posted by klausman at 10:18 AM on April 1, 2020

"Family Hub lets you see inside your refrigerator, manage your family’s calendars, stream music, see who’s at the front door and much more, right from your fridge" (from a Costco ad today.)

My Refrigerator Says...

You've been hanging 'round my door
I shouldn't answer
You only want the plums
I bought for breakfast
Which will be so
Cold and sweet
By tomorrow.

My refrigerator says
You're late on that chicken,
And when is the last time
You plucked?
I am sick of classical,
And sixities acid rock,
Pay the utilities first!
Oh! Yeah! I like the way
You wiped that back shelf,
I am feeling more myself.

I tell you what, I am keeping
My dumb mirror, the one
That only works when I turn
The light on.

My refrigerator says,
"That guy out in the car
Across the street
Wants you to share your meat.
He wants to trade some info,
He likes how your content looks
When you open my door."

Even the permafrost
Doesn't work any more for
Keeping things cold and quiet.
New isn't always the best.
This granny can still find the ice
And take care of the rest.

Meanwhile, what to do with a fire escape near the post office.
posted by Oyéah at 8:57 AM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Pandemic Collection, so far. Some days, I'm just less motivated / creative than others. I feel like there should be so much more, but the number should fluctuate, as some of those "Thank You" cards are already marked for mailing, and the MeFi card swap should get me making and sending more. Also, bookmarks, and a storage can thing (third one I've done).
posted by MuChao at 3:37 PM on April 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

This is perhaps less close to the letter of the thread with regard to art, and more in the spirit of sharing something we've made. Though, I think game design is an art, and while I'm still an amateur, I'm working on it.

This is a mostly complete hack for the indie game Esoteric Enterprises, by Emmy Allen. It's inspired by the video games The Secret World and Control and by the SCP Foundation. It needs more playtesting, and probably some more simplifying. I'm very proud of it.
posted by Caduceus at 5:56 PM on April 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

This is what I'm still working on. Just had to flip it! Shitty photo, too blurry.
posted by h00py at 6:37 AM on April 12, 2020

I was excited to see your creepy doodling going by again on instagram, h00py! It's looking neat.

I've been away from oil painting for a stretch, working on lino stuff almost exclusively since late January, but I got to work on a big 36"x36" piece a few days ago and just finished it up this morning and I'm pretty happy with it: And So Forth And So Forth. Riffing off of an improvised linocut from maybe a month ago, Ad Inf..
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on April 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've updated my stuff for the last week or so.

(a) I was in an online play and drew a wall for it as well. (The wall itself will show up in next week's other half of the show.)

(b) I more or less finished the knitalong, except for putting it together, which they haven't done yet.

(c) I did a virus-themed cross stitch sampler, with free pattern if anyone else wants to do one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:13 PM on April 12, 2020

jenfullmoon, oh cool! I watched Arne and Carlos' first video for the knitalong, it's so nice to see the (nearly) finished product!

I spun up the last of my pretty roving, so it's back to a Lincoln fleece I'm working my way through, to make a weaving project. Which is lovely in a different way, but it's been nice to have a little break. (I think I posted the yarn I made with other pretty roving? It's a hat now! Er. Just in time for it to be too warm for hats.)

I also got a Swedish-style band-weaving kit, which is taking some getting used to, figuring out how to sit comfortably. But it's really soothing working it, and it's a neat mix between a backstrap and rigid heddle looms, so that's been quite nifty to explore.
posted by kalimac at 8:43 PM on April 12, 2020

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