At Home Creativity: Keziah, Age 13

 In Voices of Young People

In response to the newfound realities of social distancing, including remote learning for students and working from home for many young professionals, Springtide™ Research Institute launched the At Home Creativity Campaign. This Spring 2020 campaign invited young people ages 13⁠ to 25 in the United States to submit creative works responding to the prompt, “How are you finding connection and meaning in these days of physical distancing?” The variety of submissions included creative writing, poetry, essays, visual art, films, original music, and photography. The top five pieces were selected by a panel of judges at Springtide and are featured in the At Home Creativity series within our Voices of Young People blog.

Here is a personal reflection from Keziah, age 13, in Delaware:

“The best is yet to come” 

I created this piece as an idealized version of myself being hopeful for the future.   

Our Q&A with Keziah: 

What inspired you to create this piece? 

I wanted to make a stylized self-portrait and believed it would be a fun challenge while having time at home to make a digital painting rather than utilizing traditional painting methods. 

What was your creative process for making this piece at home?  

My creative process was quite technical. I continually asked myself: “Am I using the right colors? Did I blend this properly?” etc. I put a lot of effort into adding volume to the hair. The program I used for this piece was Procreate on my iPad. 

Who are the people you’re safely connecting with during this time of social distancing? 

I have been connecting with many of my friends from school over text, my mentor Mrs. Peggy S. over email and phone calls, and my language arts teacher during our Zoom class meetings. 

Are trusted adults checking in with you (inside or outside your home) during this time? What does that connection mean to you? 

I live with my parents, so I’m seeing them more frequently since I am home all day, and this physical contact helps me feel less lonely. I am connecting with my mentor, like I mentioned, and though I can’t see her physically, its nice to be able to speak to someone outside of my direct family. 

Anything else you’d like us to know about this project, your process, or your at-home experience? 

This piece has to be my favorite digital painting by far I’ve made, and I want to thank Paintable and Evolve Art Academy, which have helped me improve my art to where it is now.

Springtide’s recent Social Distance Study found that for many young people, sheltering in place and social distancing provoke fear and uncertainty, leading to increased levels of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. This survey also found that the single most important way to mitigate loneliness is for trusted adults to reach out and connect with young people.

Although young people continue to find creative outlets even through the challenges of COVID-19, remember that our research confirms they still need trusted adults to reach out to them. Consider how you might connect to the young people in your circle of care by engaging their interests or encouraging their creative pursuits.

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