Interview By Maia Poon
Art in all its forms is so essential for our emotional wellbeing, learning about others’ lives, and sharing our own stories. Especially now, with June 2020 being Pride Month, a pivotal moment for the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the role of art is shifting but more important than ever. I had the opportunity to provide a platform for multidisciplinary artists and writers through online interviews, and they each had something unique to share. Keep creating!
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Check out Lillie's website here
1. Do you feel more or less connected to your art during social isolation?
As a writer, social isolation has left me with a complex to my art. In some ways, I have been able to turn to it to address feelings that I otherwise can’t express. It has, however, felt strange to work on longer manuscripts that I was working on before the pandemic. They feel out of touch and out of place right now, so I’ve found myself turning to new, shorter projects and adaptive works instead, to boost my motivation. Especially with my struggles with anxiety and depression, it can be hard to feel that motivation right now. And writer’s block comes easily and for unpredictable spans of time. So doing what I can when I can, and reminding myself that what I’m doing is enough is especially important.
Excerpt of "A Dialogue on Creation". Read the rest here
2. Have you seen any noticeable changes in the subjects of your art?
I would definitely say that I end up on a pendulum between two different ideas with my subjects. I’ll either write small snippets of prose or poetry about myself and how everything feels, or I’ll write outlandish things or adapt myths to escape. I actually did my first attempt at adaptation when the pandemic started, and in a way, it served both of those purposes, as an escape, and a way to examine human nature.
I’ve also been more open to trying other mediums of art as a way to explore the beauty around me, especially when writer’s block hits. One of my favourite visual mediums I’ve experimented with is embroidery art because it’s so hands-on, and working with the little details can produce something really intricate and beautiful.
3. Why is art important right now, with the pandemic and civil unrest around the world?
I think that right now especially, art is bringing beauty into the world in so many different ways. Some people use it to escape the world; I am certainly one of them, but art of any medium also shows us what’s around us, and how good it can be. It’s easy right now for many of us to feel like nothing is worth it, and like the world is falling apart, but taking a second to write about the beauty of the universe and humanity can spark a little bit of hope in a really nice way, even if it’s just for yourself.
4. How can art be used to share typically marginalized voices?
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I think that art is one of the most effective ways to convey the stories of marginalized people. Often trying to explain how things are with facts and statistics won’t get through to people. I know people for whom experience informs all of their feelings, and art is the best way to convey your experiences to them. Whether it’s writing, or a visual medium, or even music, art can affect the emotions when the mind is closed off.