Photographer & Crafter
"Because it WILL be over at some point and I think it's then that we'll have to decide what kind of people we want to be."
Tell us about what you're currently working on.
Right before we shifted into our current quarantine reality, I was ramping up my pottery. I take classes whenever I can to improve my pottery skills and knowledge, but when Clayworks had to cancel classes for the term I decided to focus on hand building pottery which I'm able to do without home since it doesn't require a wheel.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
My work space has become a full blown mask factory! The call was put out for people to make masks and I put my offerings out there and the response was overwhelming! I'm sewing masks with all the fabric scraps I can find and using this time to be productive and try to help people out who might not have the ability or access to sew masks themselves.
How do you think the creative process can help us confront our "new" reality?
I think now is the time to really get creative! Not only do people have the time, but there's also a need to find new ways to survive since many of us aren't able to work (and are still waiting on those stimulus checks!). It's an interesting time where a lot of people are experiencing the struggles that many lower class and poor people experience on a daily basis, and how many of us really are one paycheck away from financial ruin. My hope is that people will see the sorts of things that artists and crafters are doing to help -- whether it's making masks or hand sanitizer, serenading people from the street, making quaran.tv content on the fly, or really just creating anything that resounds with what we're all experiencing right now -- and won't take them for granted when all of this is over. Because it WILL be over at some point and I think it's then that we'll have to decide what kind of people we want to be.
Melika Carr is a photographer and crafter based in Baltimore City. See more of her work here.