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Local Artists Get Creative - Ideas for Lockdown

Published on 23 July 2021

We asked local artists and creatives from the City of Ryde Artist Register to share ideas on how they are staying calm, creative, curious and connected this lockdown. Below are 16 ideas to try out at home!

Michelle-Robinson-The-Creative-Teacher.jpg Make a Collage

“Rip or cut papers from your recycling, old memorabilia or magazines. Glue on to recycled cardboard and perhaps add additional sketches or text. Collage can also springboard additional creative ideas. A section of your collage may inspire a painting, some music, an abstract drawing or become digital art.”

- Michelle Robinson, ‘The Creative Teacher’ - Teacher and Visual Artist (Website)


Listen Carefully

“Music is the great connector. If you can’t learn an instrument, why not take some of that old music and listen to it carefully. See if you can identify the instruments - guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, etc. Really listen hard. Old music can be made new when you really listen.”

- David Lewis - Musician, Writer, Editor

Maritza-Noa-Cabrera-Visual-Artist.jpg Creative Cooking

“I always wanted to write a book about cooking offal, as our grandmothers did. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back to doing that? The French and the Asian cook delicacies with it, why not learn from them. Our world would be a better one, ethically and ecologically.”

Maritza Noa-Cabrera - Visual Artist 

Dave-Leys-Author.jpg Positive Letterbox Drop

“Write positive messages or poems about life on colourful paper. Keep it simple. "The clouds are friends, the sun a smiling beacon and life waves to all of us." Drop them into letterboxes. Neighbours love to receive something that isn't a bill or advertising but comes from the heart.”

- Dave Leys, Author

Local-Musician.jpg Learn New Languages

“Our streets and shops are full of signs I can’t read - unless I use Google Translate. I take up studying new languages (sometimes scripting but also spoken languages) to fill in the time during the lockdown period. I studied 1000 lessons in Mandarin last year and am trying to understand a bit of Auslan this year.”

- Local Musician

May-Ku-Creative-Writer.jpg Sew Simple

“Lockdown at home doesn’t mean boring all the way. On the contrary, it might be a precious time to explore one’s untapped capability. I have altered a winter pencil dress from a mini design into the style with a wave edge. The dress has a rejuvenation, so does my feeling.”

- May Ku - Creative Writer (Website)

Tom-Fuble-Musician.jpg Set a (Creative) Challenge

“As a musician I’ve actually been doing a 30 Day Songwriting challenge to stay musical and improv my song writing and creativity. The rules are quite simple really, just write a song every day for 30 days. I think if people wanted to try that they can incorporate singing, piano, guitar or any other instruments they can play. I’m almost done, and you can check them out on my Instagram.”

- Tom Fuble - Musician (Instagram)

Rotaris-Software-developer-hip-hop-artist.jpg Repurpose your Commute

“I've been teaching myself guitar. Now that I'm working from home, I use my commute time to practice for an hour before and after work. I'm about 45 hours into my self-imposed "60 hours in 6 weeks" guitar challenge. My wish is to play some jazz chords one day!”

- Rotaris - Software developer, hip hop artist (Website)

Donald-Swanborough-Amateur-Guitarist.jpg Connect with the Greats

“I miss playing at the Thursday Open Mic night at Club Ryde desperately. So, I’m using my lockdown time to practice my guitar skills. Thank goodness for YouTube. I love playing along with my favourite artists and using the backing tracks on the platform. My challenge is to not compare myself with the great artists but have them as my artistic companions.”

- Donald Swanborough - Amateur Guitarist (Facebook)

Liam-Kivijian-Musician.jpg Get Moving

"What's really helped me during lockdown is something as simple as a skipping rope. I often find interesting ideas will randomly pop into my head while I'm skipping. Other than that, it's a good way to get the blood pumping, the heart rate up and to clear the mind."

- Liam Kivijian - Musician (Soundcloud)

Nicole-Paton-Portrait-Photographer.jpg See the World in a New Light

"Explore your surrounding and look for things usually unseen, go on a photo hunt and look for 15 items, follow my list or write your own. Look for interesting shadows, the way the light reflects off different options, go wild, and stretch your creative mind. Post a collage with your final images to share with family and friends around the world and encourage them to try it too!"  Try Nicole’s photo hunt list here

- Nicole Paton - Portrait Photographer (Website)

Romanda-Ceramic-Artist.jpg Celebrate Natural Beauty

“I love to create a “nature weaving” from anything I find on my daily walks, such as twigs, leaves, and feathers. To make the weaving I use a loom made from cardboard (old cereal box) and string and just have fun with it.”

- Romanda - Ceramic Artist 

James-Francis-Khehtie-Director-and-Producer.jpg Enjoy Some Screen Time

"Lockdown is a great time to catch up on quality Australian movies and documentaries. If you're not sure where to start, why not watch my film The Telegram Man, starring Australian screen legends Jack Thompson, Gary Sweet and Sigrid Thornton. It's free on SBS On Demand." Watch The Telegram Man here.

 - James Francis Khehtie - Director and Producer (Website)

Adeeb-Razzouk-Performer.jpg Lights, Camera, Action

“I made a video artwork with my brother. We used LED lights, phone cameras and a dark room to create unique performances. I then set them to music and edit them to turn into videos on Youtube.” You can see the performances here

- Adeeb Razzouk, performer


Liz-Busenshut-Artist.jpg Recycle and Repurpose

“I've ‘found’ an easy, never-ending and inexpensive supply of materials, especially during lockdowns, by using recycled materials! They’re great for children since they can always be called ‘Abstract Art’. This is image what I’m working on at the moment. There’s a whole world of crafts using recyclables!”

- Liz Busenshut, Artist

Nim-Gholkar-Life-Coach-and-Author.jpg Make Time for Reflection

“Each evening, I write in my gratitude journal and reflect on three things I'm grateful for. This helps me focus on the bright side of life.”

- Nim Gholkar - Life Coach and Author

Last updated on 28 July 2021