Erica Harney Shares What She Does to Stay Inspired, Sane, and Productive While Social Distancing

Artist member Erica Harney has kept herself busy during these trying times in what she thinks of as an “artist residency.” See what she has to say.

Erica working on a watercolor with her cat, Rufus

What are you doing to stay sane at this time?

I am actually really grateful for this gift of TIME and am treating my quarantine as an Artist Residency! I have a bunch of half-finished projects to wrap up (including a commission I’ve been procrastinating on) and then I’m going to spend some time making work that I want to make! Fortunately, my studio is in my home so I have everything I need. I’m elated.

I also plan to DEEP CLEAN my entire house and studio, update my Etsy shop (find her at: EricaHarneyArtist), my website, and spend as much time in my gardens as possible.

I realize that my situation, compared to many, is pretty utopic. My partner and I both love being home (we have a beautiful, cozy house with lots of windows and a working fireplace), we have three floors of living space so we have plenty of distance from each other when we want/need it, we are obsessed with our cat Rufus and are ecstatic to be home with him (and vice versa), we have a yard full of plants and a second refrigerator full of craft beer. AND we don’t have any human children that we need to educate and entertain. #childfreebychoice

The only “anxiety” I am experiencing is due to not having an income for the foreseeable future as I have been laid off for at least the next 6-8 weeks. I don’t miss driving, I don’t miss getting up at 5:00 to go to work, and so far I don’t miss leaving home. Over the past few months, I had already been making a concerted effort to “do less” so this quarantine could not have come at a better time. I’m afraid that “when this is over” I’m going to struggle to readjust to “normal life.”

What’s your trick to making sure you’re washing your hands for 20 seconds?

In my family, we’re big fans of smelly soaps, so hand-washing is always a pleasurable activity.

Do you have any movie or TV recommendations?

Audiobooks. I have subscriptions to both HooplaDigital and Libby and you can too if you have a valid library card. I’m reluctant to make recommendations due to differences in taste but in general, I recommend audiobooks to listen to while working.

Do you have any advice for others?

Read the poem “WHAT IF” by Gurpreet K. Gill.

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