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 woodworker Ty Beringer. 

Working as a full-time woodworker for the past couple of years, Beringer began his craft by making home goods and was involved heavily with the Northwest Arkansas craft show scene. He now has his own company, Dryad Gaming Co., a wood shop that hand-makes boxes and other accessories for tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and many more.

Beringer said this work allows him to be involved in the “wonderful tabletop gaming community” and continue his pursuit of fine woodworking. Outside of workshopping and woodworking, Beringer said he loves to grab a local craft beer and watch movies–a man of true craftsmanship. 

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

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

While self distancing, I’ve had a lot of time to experiment and work on projects that have been on my perpetual to-do list. In this stressful time, being able to experiment and play with new techniques or explore creatively has been a very small, but nice, silver lining. It’s been a good opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. 

Why are you doing it? 

Well, pragmatically, I need to find some more ways to keep the lights on while everybody is taking a hit, financially. If I can create some small product or provide an avenue for people to support me, I’ll be a lot less nervous about my future as a full-time creative. But just as important, I find that when I’m anxious or stressed, I can push that nervous energy in, or push it out. Of course, internalizing these anxieties isn’t healthy, so using that time and energy to try out a new medium or make something interesting is much more worthwhile.  

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

I can’t control much of what is happening in the world, but I can control my creativity and artistic expressions. Even if that doesn’t really solve anything, it keeps me looking forward to the next day. In a time of worry and loss, we can’t let ourselves lose some of the little things that keep the world nice.