The Idle Class Quarantine Creative series features local creators and their spread of good fortune and creativity in a time of quarantine. What exactly are these artists doing to lift the spirits of our community while practicing social distancing? We’re here to find out. Next in the series: local artist Jessica Jones. 

Jessica Jones, a mural specialist and creator within many mediums, made the move from Florida to Conway five years ago and has stamped her style on the community ever since. Through art commissions, Jones has worked for many local businesses to help “bring a creative flair to their establishments” and make their abstractions tangible, she said.

Jones said she loves and lives to create, which is exactly what she does. She still resides in the Conway area and “arts full-time” to support her two children. 

As artists find ways to be creative during a time of social distancing, Jones told The Idle Class what she is doing to spread light and art in a time of seeming darkness. 

What have you been doing creatively during the “self distancing” period? 

Well at first it was hard to get anything done. We are creatures of habit and it takes some time, at least for me, to adapt to a new routine. The first few days were like scrambling to make sense of the situation, to keep your head above water. I have two kids and with them being out of school I didn’t have my usual studio time to be productive. After seeing musicians doing live streams and what not I thought maybe I could do something like a Bob Ross video. Then I thought I’d just make it silly with things people had around the house like ketchup and mustard, painting with a toothbrush, more for entertainment than instruction. A local business liked the idea and we collaborated to do an actual painting tutorial, to paint a flower similar to one of my local murals. They are trying to make a push to raise funds for the local food banks in this time of need. 

Aside from that I am still working from home on my iPad, nailing down concepts for future murals. Sadly several murals have been postponed (or) cancelled due to the economic impact of the situation.

Why are you doing it? 

Because I know of nothing else to do. Art is the air we breathe and essential for life. When you see other cultures—whose lives are stripped down to just the necessities like food and shelter—they still have the arts.

Why is staying active in your art and finding new ways to express it important at a time like this? 

People are scared and entire lives have been changed, uprooted, and will likely be that way for a bit. We need to look towards our own purpose, as a way of staying focused on our true life’s calling and values. People also need the enrichment that art brings into their life; the entertainment, the expression of feelings not easily put into words, a tiny vacation in the midst of troublesome times.