Creators In Quarantine: Clarissa Eck

How has this whole situation impacted you?
I work in a communal space at The Clay Studio, which is how I initially found pottery. After the government started to take COVID-19 seriously, all non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down – and unfortunately, The Clay Studio fell into that category. I got a phone call from a friend who was meant to fire a kiln with me and I went into the studio for a quick visit to grab my work and tools, trying to decide what to carry out. It felt so dramatic, since the situation was changing so quickly. I went in the next day and I was able to get most of what I needed from my space. I don’t know when I will have access to that space at The Clay Studio again. It’s been about a month since I made work with clay. I am starting to think of new ways to make creative work, but a large part of my business is selling my work, taking photographs, figuring out social media and taxes and sending emails. In some ways it’s been nice to be able to catch up on this side of my business. I know that soon I’ll be itching to make something again, but I was dangerously close to burning out on pottery before COVID changed everything.
When this is all over how do you think it will impact you as a creator?
I think the thing that is saving me is the ability to stay flexible and recognize the feelings I’m having. If you can process your grief, or at least recognize it, then you can make more room for what else needs to happen. My guess is that when the urge strikes, I will paint, and sketch, and use this time to build new ideas and new systems. But honestly, that might take more time to happen than just a few weeks into this new mandated lifestyle. I was scheduled to leave The Clay Studio in August, which would be a huge change to my process anyway…so this transitional period was due one way or another. I’m mentally preparing myself to move out of this generative, incubative space that I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of.
What advice would you give to other creators/businesses during this difficult time?
Grieve appropriately, express gratitude, pass on your good fortune, ask for help when you really need it. Think about what you need to be adequately prepared for a crisis like this. Something of this magnitude is bound to happen again, but who knows when? How will you be resilient for the future? Ask yourself what methods of coping are working for you now, and what you are in need of. Find support and love for yourself.
Clarissa’s work can be found on her website or on instagram @Clarissaeck

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