How Are U, Jason Seife?
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How Are U, Jason Seife?

How are you? 'How is quarantine affecting your practice?

I'm doing well - trying to stay healthy and motivated during the times of uncertainty. I had a friend recently lose his father to the virus and a cousin come down with it so things have hit close to home. The situation in the US is quite bad, as I'm sure you know. It really puts things into perspective when you see how serious things are, it's one thing seeing it on the news or social media, it's another when you see it happen to friends or family. 

Additionally - it's strange making work during times like this, the uncertainty of when or how the work will be shown is one of the hurdles I'm dealing with. My work is very personal and reflective of my mental and emotional states at the moment of creation. So I'm trying to challenge myself to make works that will still be important and relevant to me, even if they’re shown a year or two from now, which is something I haven't had to plan for before. I’m very much a pre planner and every work I make I like to know how, where and when it will be shown. From the framing to the walls and the context it will be shown. So now I find myself creating without those steps of fruition put into place. That being said, It is nice to get out of my comfort zone in that regard. Other than that, my practice has not changed a whole lot. I work alone in the studio on a regular basis so I like to think I'm normally already in a kind of quarantine when working. The biggest change has been the absence of travelling. I usually lock myself in the studio for about a month or two  while I'm finishing paintings and then take a week or two off to be able to travel, get inspired and then get back to it. I'm now going on my fourth month straight of work without traveling so I think that’s been the biggest change in terms of my day to day life, but for the most part it's just me and the paintings as usual.

What is one piece of advice you would have for younger, less established artists at this time?

Honestly, I like to think of myself as a young emerging artist, as it keeps me on my toes and never resting on my laurels so any advice I would give to them is the same I try and tell myself. Obviously I have never been through anything like this before so I'm still learning how to cope as days go by. However, I think at the end of the day what’s most important (other than staying healthy of course) is to stay motivated and creating. Eventually we will get through this and things will normalize, but what’s going to allow us to make that transition the smoothest possible is if we continue our practice as much and as safely as possible.  I'm afraid of artists getting discouraged or pulling away from their work for too long of a time and then not being able to get back into it in the future. 

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