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Artist, Photographer, Writer
"I have been unemployed since the COVID shutdown began in March 2020. As a result I have been using most of my time to upgrade my photography skills, my digital artwork abilities, and my fiction writing."
Describe yourself as a maker/artist/creative
I am an artist/photographer/writer living in the Chicago suburbs with my wife and our cat. I am in my fifties and have been creative all my life, although I never attained a career in design or the arts. I have made it my mission for whatever time I have left to leave a legacy of creativity.
What are you currently working on?
I have been upgrading my abilities in Photoshop and Illustrator so my digital art has a more modern, cinematic feel. I am writing and developing a scifi-based webcomic as I am a huge scifi/fantasy/comic book fan. Because of Instagram I have been involved in fantasy art as well as working with toys and collectables in my art and photography. My wife is very supportive and has at times been my model and always my muse.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
I have been unemployed since the COVID shutdown began in March 2020. As a result I have been using most of my time to upgrade my photography skills, my digital artwork abilities, and my fiction writing. Working full time before COVID didn't give me as much time as I needed to develop what was essentially just a hobby. Now however everything is different. I feel I might actually be able to make a decent living by creating and marketing my work while staying home. I believe many artists feel this way as well and are taking advantage of these days, marketing themselves and their talent.
In your opinion, what role does the creative process play in helping us confront our “new” reality?
Dark days such as these, with a global pandemic and political unrest, creative arts can provide a small amount of positivity and hope. It can also be used to inform the public, foster progressive activism, and spread optimism, as well as create a sense of community and acceptance. These are concepts that are greatly needed at any time not just since the pandemic began.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I have had an Instagram page since last summer, @redflowercreativestudio. I am thoroughly enjoying being part of an artists community. It is amazing to see all the different ways people of various backgrounds and capabilities have used creative arts to spread their talent for all to share in and be inspired by. Social media has rightfully been called out for spreading negativity and hatred, but it is still just a tool. If I can be a little poetic, we can choose to spread hate and darkness or to spread love and light. I and so many others choose to spread light in this darkness of division and disease. We can make a difference with every stroke of a pen or a brush or a pixel by reminding people that life still goes on. We need art and creativity to help us through the worst that is sent our way.
See more of Robert's work here.