At the moment, it’s tempting to spend all day doing nothing but eating and watching TV. But it’s a shame to let your creative skills waste away when there are so many great projects to get involved in right now. And if you’ve got bored kids to entertain as well, why not rope them in too?
From fun art challenges to practical efforts, we list some of the best projects to get your brain energised once more. Read on, and you're sure to find a project to re-engage your creative juices and give renewed purpose to your life.
01. Grayson Perry art club
Launched this Monday, Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry is hosting a weekly TV art show called Grayson’s Art Club. (This is on Britain’s Channel 4 and All4 catch-up service, so if you’re elsewhere, check out our guide to the best VPN services). Grayson is challenging artists to submit work on a different theme each week, with the best appearing on the show. You can find all the details on how to get your work featured here.
02. Noel Fielding Art Club
To keep the nation entertained during lockdown, Noel Fielding, co-presenter of The Great British Bake Off, has launched a social media art club that’s aimed at both kids and adults. Every Saturday at 3pm on his Instagram and Twitter, Noel picks a theme and people respond in a variety of imaginative ways, from painting and sculpture to salami art.
03. The Maker's Guide Digital
When The Yard Theatre in London had to cancel its after-school art clubs, it decided to take them online. Led by visual artist Kirsty Anne Reynolds, The Maker's Guide Digital is now delivering weekly videos, photos and tasks once a week, for both parents and kids; "designed so you’ll never need fancy equipment and always totally free".
04. Saturday Art Club at Home
The Platform Arts Centre in Glasgow has also replaced its regular physical art club with Saturday Art Club At Home. Led by artist Alice Dansey-Wright and suitable for children and adults alike, new projects are available every Saturday morning and the club will continue until 30 June.
05. Isolation Art School
Isolation Art School is a free ‘Instagram academy’ founded during lockdown by Keith Tyson, with the aim of bringing together would-be artists and art teachers. Individual projects on the Instagram feed are coded yellow for children and red for adults.
06. Stay Home Stay Positive: animation challenge
In response to lockdown, Argentian animation studio Buda.tv and motion designer Gabriel Murgue have launched a challenge to animators everywhere. Using a specially created template, the idea is to animate characters clapping from a balcony, and the best work is shared on the @stayhomestaypositive Instagram feed. You can find all the details and access the template here.
07. Martin Parr photo challenge
Iconic British photographer Martin Parr has devised a series of weekly photographic challenges to be completed from within your home, using whatever you have available. There's a prize for each week's winner, plus Martin will share some of his favourites on his Instagram page.
08. Inside Voices: Kickstarter open call
Inside Voices is a campaign by Kickstarter that challenges out-of-work creators to work on new projects, and offers to promote the best ones within the Kickstarter community. "Consider simple, digital rewards—like zine PDFs, album downloads, Zoom performance invites, or poetry newsletters," it suggests.
09. The #CoronaMaison challenge
The #CoronaMaison challenge is a collaborative artwork project launched by French illustrator Pélénope Bagieu in response to Coronavirus. Using a pre-made template, each artist is being challenged to depict the perfect room in which they'd like to be quarantined. The aim is for all the artworks to be joined together to create one enormous house. Find out more in our article.
10. The Getty Museum Challenge
Here's a project that's more about imagination than a particular technique or skill, but it's still a lot of fun. The Getty Museum is challenging people to recreate a work of art with objects in their home, using digitised and downloadable artworks from Getty’s online collection. Our absolute favourite so far has to be The Scream recreated in toast. Find out more in this blog post.
11. Slack group for illustrators
Ben the Illustrator has long been a leading voice in the creative community, and so when he launched a Slack channel for illustrators to discuss the impact of Coronavirus, it took off quickly. Read more about it in our article.
12. Anorak Magazine Slack Channel
Content and illustration agency Studio Anorak has launched a Slack channel where every day from 4-6pm GMT, artists and illustrators can chat about their day, their fears, and share happy thoughts. Read more and find out how to get an invite here.
13. Margarite freelancers' forum
An organisation promoting women in the arts, Margarite has recently launched a forum to help freelancers without work during the current crisis. The idea is that freelancers list all the things they can help companies with, even if it's not the thing they usually do for money.
14. Creative Boom Chat
In response to the lockdown, the art, design and photography blog Creative Boom has launched a free forum called Creative Boom Chat. It's a place for both experienced and young creatives to discuss issues that are concerning them right now, and the emphasis is on being friendly, supportive and positive.
15. Slack channel for agency owners
Ben Steers of Fiasco Design has set up a dedicated Slack workspace for agency owners and company directors in the creative industries. The idea is to share information, resources and work opportunities for agencies who are struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
16. CSM Loves NHS: No Scrubs
Foundation design students at Central St Martins in London are leading a project to produce urgently needed scrubs for the NHS, based on the pattern guides they have created. To join in yourself, check out this project guide.
17. Emergency Designer Network
London-based designers Holly Fulton, Bethany Williams and Phoebe English have recently come together to form the Emergency Designer Network, which is galvanising local garment production to offer scrubs for hospitals. They are seeking donations of both money and specific kinds of fabric, while if you have skills you think may help, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Launched last week CURA is an open source project proposing to transform shipping containers into emergency COVID-19 hospitals. Just four weeks after its launch, the first unit has been built and installed at a temporary hospital in Turin, Italy. The tech specs, drawings and design materials have been made accessible for everyone online here, and suggestions for improvements are encouraged. This is, of course, something you can't do from your living room.
19. 3D-printing medical visors
New York architects Studio V have recently refocused their resources towards 3D-printing medical visors and delivering them to medical personnel. They've shared details of how you can do the same here, and are calling on other agencies to help produce this much-needed equipment.
20. Coronavirus Tech Handbook
The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is a crowdsourced library of tools, services and resources relating to COVID-19 response, that's rapidly evolving and growing. The organisers urge: "If you find or make something that could be useful to someone, add it to the handbook." Meanwhile online edit-a-thons are held regularly, where volunteers around the world can help in the curation of the handbook, with no experience required.