With the COVID-19 pandemic looming for over two months now, creative blockages have begun to seize upon general public. Here are five things to try to keep the creativity flowing while on lockdown.
Paint!!! (by number)
The nifty free service, PBNify.com, allows users to upload a photograph of their choosing and breaks it down into sections by color. People can choose to print the outline and color it in themselves, or just have fun testing different photos in the silhouette-esque platform. Many companies also offer their own “paint by number” sets in which they supply the paints and a picture to color, and most prices range below $20. These sets can be found on Amazon, and other shipping platforms to be enjoyed from the comfort, and safety, of one’s home!
For many teenagers, especially those planning on leaving for college in the fall, decorating your room is a key element of creative expression. Websites such as Dormify allow for students to become their own interior designer from their laptop with features such as “Customize Your Bed.” Another recent hot ticket item, tapestries, can be found on RedBubble, a website that offers a wide variety of “trendy” options to choose from. In addition to tapestries, the platform sells stickers for water bottles and laptops, as well as clothing. As it is difficult for students to shop for decorations in person, online shopping produces a safe alternative to fulfill these needs. Other popular websites with decoration selections catered toward a younger audience include Urban Outfitters, Target, and Walmart.
Movie Night In
Everyone deserves to relax as the stress of the pandemic has been a heavyweight to carry on one’s mental health. Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome extension that allows for those with existing Netflix accounts to connect with their friends and stream any movies or television shows within the realm of Netflix. There is a chatbox feature for friends to communicate with, and all fast-forwarding, pausing, and rewinding is synced so everyone can watch at the same pace. However, if one is more interested in streaming a movie with a video chat option, another service called Scener allows for friends to do so. Although the platform currently only hosts Netflix selections, they are planning to add other streaming services for use in the future for groups of up to 20 to enjoy.
Collage and Montage Galore
As quarantine boredom persists, many have begun to use their free time to reminisce about pre-virus times and dig up old photographs and videos that bring about a smile. A heartfelt testament to the “good times” utilizing the uncovered memorabilia could be created using montage and collage apps such as iMovie and PicCollage. iMovie, an app available on Apple products, allows users to create movies using photos and videos from their camera roll. A homemade movie or collage may be just what your loved ones need and could serve as a fun family activity while stuck at home.
Other photo apps, such as Prequel and HUJI allow users to transform their photographs to the trending “vintage” aesthetic. Prequel offers a feature for Live photos on iPhones to be transformed into what looks like old film with filters such as VHS, VCR, and DVCAM. The camera app, HUJI, mimics the photo quality of a disposable camera, giving users the fun, carefree vibe of the disposable camera era, without harming the environment.
Lastly, with one of the latest TikTok trends of creating what are known as “vibe boards” or collages of “aesthetic” photographs and quotes with a similar color scheme to decorate one’s wall with, Pinterest could be a useful platform for inspiration. The platform hosts a variety of these aesthetic submissions to be downloaded for free for those seeking to DIY their wall decorations with such collages.
Be Social! (But don’t hesitate to have some alone time too)
All up-to-date Apple products have the Group Facetime feature which allows people to call their friends, family, and loved ones in the proper social-distancing way, with up to 32 people. However, for those without Apple products or prefer a larger screen for viewing, the web service Zoom, allows for those with an account to host free “meetings” with up to 100 friends secured by password-granted access.
For those who aren’t feeling social, however, healthy (or not-so-healthy) alternatives could include baking, reading, and exercise.
BAKING! YouTube channels such as BonAppetit and Tasty offer a variety of quick, easy recipe ideas and tutorials to boost at-home cooking creativity. For those who buy too much fruit on their less frequent grocery shopping excursions, recipes such as banana bread have taken off throughout quarantine as the over-ripened fruit is recycled into bread instead of thrown out.
READING! As the summer weather approaches, the website, Goodreads, helps users find the perfect book to read outside as its personalized accounts use data of some of their readers' past favorites to produce unique suggestions, as well as weekly email newsletter updates on new arrivals.
EXERCISE! As gyms have been shut down, at-home workout videos have been gaining popularity with the TikTok famous Chloe Ting workouts on Youtube as well as a multitude of others like Blogilates and PopSugar Fitness. However, if following along a video is unfitting, with proper safety precautions outdoor activities such as running, walking, biking, and hiking would suffice as well, and could even double as family activities.
As the new reality of quarantine life treks ahead, there are new, adaptive ways blooming to bring the fun of the outside world into the comfort of your own home.