We’re collecting pieces of art about what Washington looks like from quarantine—starting with our own staff. This week, Washingtonian staffers made pieces of art depicting their shutdown lives, including a haiku about ice cream trucks from food editor Jessica Sidman and a window collage by designer Jenny Rosenberg. Assistant photo editor Lauren Bulbin even developed film in her bathtub for us. (Anything for the art!)
Now it’s your turn—send us whatever you’re inspired to make. It can be a self-portrait, the landscape outside your window, a still life on your kitchen table, or anything else you can think of. Any medium is welcome, including illustration, photography, animation, collage, short prose, poetry, or any combination thereof.
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, occupation, neighborhood/city, and a few sentences about what your work says about life in quarantine.
Lauren Bulbin, Assistant Photo Editor
With the exception of some essential tasks I must do as a member of the media, I have been isolating in my apartment for the pandemic. I live alone and for several years I have been creating a body of work that depicts what it is like to live by yourself. During this time, I have been particularly lonely. Virtual moments with my loved ones sometimes cannot subdue the feelings of isolation.
Prior to this experience, I used to spend 14+ hours out of my apartment daily. Now my world is this place. I have become intimately aware of every inch of this apartment. From cooking dinner for one late at night, to my peep hole becoming a new window to the outside world, to the make up I stare at longing to wear for a night out, and my laundry once never done, now always done, these square feet are more important to me now than they have ever been.
Jane Recker, Assistant Editor
Before moving to DC, I had lived in Chicago my entire life and our version of “spring” was two 60-degree days in late May sandwiched between a blizzard and a heat wave. This was my first real spring, and holy crap, was it breathtaking. I have severe seasonal allergies, but my burning eyes and inflamed lungs didn’t stop me from looking like a complete idiot when I would literally stop to smell the flowers on my daily walks. There’s been something so comforting about seeing the blossoms and the return of fragrance and color to the world. It’s helped me a lot when I’ve gone down the “I will be quarantining forever” rabbit hole. We have been through pandemics and other great tragedies before, and life has always found a way. There will be an end to this, and there will still be beauty on the other side.
Jessica Sidman, Food Editor
Every day the same
Ice cream truck comes down the street
Pandemic Bomb Pop?
Hannah Good, Social Media Producer
I moved to Washington just a few months ago from Kentucky, and my loved ones feel further away than ever. My roommates (found on a Facebook housing group) are a lovely couple who often include me in their card games and movie nights. Even so, I spend most of my time alone. And to paraphrase a Julia Louis-Dreyfus tweet: I’m sick of myself. Drawing occasional self-portraits and comics has been a way for me to spend time with myself—to check in with open curiosity, kindness, and humor.
Here are two of these self-portraits, from week one of quarantine and week seven-ish. I lost count.
Jenny Rosenberg, Designer
This is the view from my makeshift home office space: a fold up table on the second floor guest room of my parents house. The view from my suburban Northern Virginia home is drastically different from the one from our office in the city, and I frequently find myself entertained by the sights.
Sana Shah, UX Designer
I’ve found solace in my guitar. With all the chaos, it feels nice to make some noise I can control. I’m no Hendrix, but when I play, all my current anxieties kinda disappear. I just imagine everyone looking at the night sky. It’s a moment we can still share without being together.
Anna Spiegel, Food Editor
There once was a woman in McLean
Who felt she was going insane.
She binged Tiger King,
And baked yeasty things,
But the days still all felt the same!
Anna Marina Savvidis, Photo Director
I am a huge fan of photographer Jamie Beck, and shooting florals in moody light is 100% her style. I feel like I’ve been following her more closely these days because during quarantine she’s posting daily #isolationcreation images, so when I noticed the bouquet of flowers in my house had died, instead of just throwing them out, I felt compelled to snap a photo. I really liked how that turned out, so the next day when I walked by the dried eucalyptus leaves that normally decorate our guest room, I decided to snap those too. During this time in quarantine, her work has inspired me to take a moment to photograph the mundane that I normally may have ignored.