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Abstract

Isolation during Covid-19 has affected many artists, but the ways in which artists were affected by isolation in their art practice during Covid-19 depended on the pre-existing forms of inspiration and motivation that fueled their practice. For artists who depended more on internal motivation, isolation was a medium by which they could focus internally and channel the emotional effects of Covid and social stress into their work. Artists who were driven by external motivation did not benefit from isolation to the same degree in their work process and found other methods of motivation during physical isolation, such as social media and literature forms. For all artists, there was an adjustment period during Covid as both inner and outer worlds were disturbed; this is due to their interconnected nature. Isolation can be understood as an aesthetic experience that affects both external and internal art inspiration. Overall, artists ultimately attested to their art process changing and their artwork improving during Covid. This ethnographic research suggests that agency over aesthetic experience was asserted by artists to either circumvent or utilize physical isolation to find motivation and inspiration for art practice.

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