Tyler School of Art students are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by partaking in virtual studio classes and selling their artwork from home.
Due to Temple University’s COVID-19 restrictions, Tyler School of Art students have limited access to the art studios. Many students say this has yielded their creativity and caused them to make many changes to their artistic process.
Graphic design student, Sophia Mazza, says, ”Being either at home, which I know for some people isn’t always the best place for them, or just locked up in your dorm, it’s kind of hard to just find that inspiration to keep creating things.”
Some students have also found that their current living space presents limitations towards their creative expression and art making abilities.
Art education student, Sammy Henken, says, “I ended up doing most of my work at my apartment which was really difficult because I wanted to do very large scale drawings.”
Despite encountering these hardships, some students have managed to begin selling their artwork. A few artists say this has even become their primary source of income over the past year.
Lily Stevens and Sophia Mazza are two art students selling their collaborative artwork online. After taking a virtual screen printing class together, the girls began printing their designs onto shirts and canvas bags. They attribute the opportunity to begin selling their work largely to the pandemic.
Lily Stevens, a photography student, says, “I was selling artwork in quarantine which I wouldn’t have ever done before because one, I didn’t have time and two, the motivation wasn’t there.”
Sammy Henken also says she had been selling her work prior to the pandemic, but the extra time at home has allowed her to explore new mediums and dedicate more time towards her art.
The artists are primarily using social media platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok to sell their work and increase exposure.
Lily shares, “We posted a TikTok and it blew up. It got like ten thousand views and a bunch of people were like, “Oh my god! I want this shirt!” This was ultimately the spark that led to them selling their work.
Other artists say social media has also been critical in increasing their work’s exposure and reaching a broader client base.
Art therapy student, Morgan Ryan, sells clothing with her cousin that features designs from her sketchbook. The two began their artistic partnership after having socially distanced meetings in a park over the summer where they would both sketch.
Morgan touches on how social media has expanded her sales, “Social media has definitely been a big impact on being able to spread the amount of commissions. I do this with my cousin and a lot of her friends go to school out of state, so it’s actually been able to spread it more.”
Art students are continuing to create art and sell their work from home as the pandemic continues. The artists also reiterate that they are looking forward to when Tyler’s studios can fully reopen and more art classes can be held in-person. To visit their instagram pages and view their work, follow the links below.
Sammy Henken: @screaming_toads
Lily Stevens & Sophia Mazza: @apt814co
Morgan Ryan @crsd.clothes