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Viral Art: Creativity Amid Chaos

22 Mar 2020
It's the COVID-19 Art of the Week, as artists around the world take motivation from the biggest issue on the planet.

Let's face it, the world's not the most fun place right now.

As we watch borders close, supermarkets filled with people but emptied of groceries, countries go into lockdown and people into self-quarantine - there hasn't been much to smile about. 

No industry is immune but the arts have been hit hard and hit suddenly. Thriving careers have been halted, in some cases ended (hopefully temporarily). The rich, diverse and energised arts industry has been effectively shut down. It's hurting so many people in our community, and the trickle-down effects are just starting to become clear.  

There is fear, there is the unknown, there is stress and there is uncertainty.

Thank goodness for art.

Amid all the scare-mongering and terrifying headlines on social media, there have been glimmers of positivity, unity and welcome distractions as well. We've scoured the internet to see how artists are expressing themselves or finding humour in the darkest of circumstances.

Many are turning to creative outlets to release their frustrations or keep themselves busy, Tik-Tok and Twitter is full of examples of that.

We've focused on the artwork that's been created during these troubling times - starting with one of New Zealand's best Instagram artists, Jessica Thompson Carr AKA The Māori Mermaid.


Image: @maori_mermaid

It's an illustration that's resonated with many, shared thousands of time across social platforms. Thompson Carr reinforcing the message to "Call up your elderly, keep your eyes open for those who look like they’re struggling because this is a time of fear. The best we can do is support each other so if you feel up to it, try running some errands or do a supermarket shop for the elders in your neighbourhood. Sending out aroha always. ❤️"

There are countless messages doing the rounds about the importance of washing your hands (wasn't that always important, like before coronavirus was a thing?). Instagram user @ape.soup turned to the classics to get the point across.


The need to stand strong can be defiant as well as resilient.  Out of Raleigh, North Carolina, @Elklevs uses this image to make her statement "We’re the virus, we are the weakest link. Fear and greed will always be our downfall."

Image: @elklevs

Not everyone in the States is so pessimistic. Cate McCleary (@Lets_make_a_rukus) used her skills to send the message "we can do this, JUST STAY HOME."


Image: @lets_make_a_ruckus

Staying connected in a time of social distancing isn't easy. Finding that intimacy appears to be the motivation for Dutch artist @plaatvanwies.


Image: @plaatvanwies

And finally; as pubs, bars and drinking establishments around the world shut up shop, this blackboard art from Kim Makuvet (@kimmakisme) sums up the situation.  


Image: @kimmakisme 

Do you have any #viralart to share? tag @thebigideanz on Instagram or DM us - now is the time to be sharing our work to bring joy and inspiration when it's needed most.