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Art and Emotions During Quarantine

Author: Brander Sattler

From: East Meadow, NY, USA

Lonely hours, repetitive days, monotonous weeks. This is exactly what being in quarantine felt like. Without a doubt, being in quarantine is an unpleasant experience. It can make us feel all types of negative emotions, but most notably: unfulfillment. Unfulfillment in our daily lives because we can't express ourselves like how we used to. We can't share our emotions with other people as easily because we are stuck in isolation. Art, however, can fix this problem. Doing an artistic activity allows us not only to express our emotions in our work, but it also allows us to remember when life was easier.


Humans have an innate need to express their emotions. Quarantine makes this a lot more difficult due to the fact that we are isolated from other people and we have very few people we can express our emotions to. Doing an artistic activity such as drawing, painting, writing a song or a poem, or any other creative activity helps us to cope with this problem because we can express our emotions through our work. For example, in a psychological study, where 3 artists each made a piece of installation art (3D art) in front of an audience while their emotions were being assessed and the viewers of 2 out of 3 works of art reportedly felt similar emotions to what the artists themselves felt in the process of creation. Also, the emotions the viewers felt were similar to the ones that the artists intended their audience to experience. This experiment shows that artists can accurately convey their emotions to other people through their artwork. Since people have very few people that they can express their true emotions to during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have started to do creative art processes such as drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, sketching a portrait, or even baking a cake. All of these creative activities give us other alternatives to express our emotions, something that is necessary during quarantine.


Isolation from the rest of the world makes us miss the times when life was normal; when we were able to hang out with our friends; when we were able to go to eat; when we did not have to

wear masks; when we did not have to worry about life and death. Art allows us to remember when life was easier. For example, when you are working on a piece of art, the way we perceive that piece of art with our sense allows us to connect with ourselves in a deeply emotional way and to completely emotionally reorganize ourselves. When we emotionally reorganize,we reminisce to when life was normal. This is why listening to old songs is so popular during quarantine, because it allows us to grasp the nostalgia of when we were not in quarantine. Nostalgia allows us to be mentally at ease during an emotionally challenging time in our lives.

As dull as quarantine may be, art will help to spice up our lives. Art helps to express our emotions, even if we don't have others to talk to, and it helps to bring back the nostalgia of the good old days when we were allowed to socialize and to interact with others. Creative processes and art help to remove one word from ourselves during quarantine: unfulfillment. They help us to be fulfilled with our new way of life, and emotionally complete during an unpleasant time in our lives.


Author: Branden Sattler

Branden is a rising junior at East Meadow High School. He has a passion for psychology and wants to understand how different aspects of life affect a person’s emotional well-being.


Works Cited:

1. Braus, M., & Morton, B. (2020). Art therapy in the time of COVID-19. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1). doi:10.1037/tra0000746

2. Funch, B. S. (2020). Art, emotion, and existential well-being. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. doi:10.1037/teo0000151

3. Pelowski, M., Specker, E., Gerger, G., Leder, H., & Weingarden, L. S. (2020). Do you feel like I do? A study of spontaneous and deliberate emotion sharing and understanding between artists and perceivers of installation art. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 14(3), 276-293. doi:10.1037/aca0000201

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