COVID Residencies: Jeremy Lewis welcomes us into a very personal space...his sketchbooks
'The biggest value for art right now is on an individual level'
In our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're checking out how artists are adapting their practices in isolation, whether it's diving into different processes or getting lost in their sketchbooks.
Due to the COVID crisis and its stay-at-home demands, illustrator Jeremy Lewis has been spending more time with his sketchbooks — and has adapted a fun take on social distancing in his art practice. Lewis has been "distancing" the position of where he holds his pen, forcing him to hold the pen higher up which decreases his level of control while drawing, ultimately providing him a new perspective towards his artwork. "It gives me this kind of liberty to persevere with a drawing, to enjoy its foibles, and it's allowed me to discover certain lines that I find very effective," he says.
In this video, Lewis — whose work is reminiscent of Ralph Steadman and Robert Crumb (but with a more wholesome appeal) — welcomes us into his Toronto apartment and into a very personal space: his sketchbooks. Reflecting on art and the COVID crisis, Lewis emphasizes its importance for us as individuals.
"The biggest value for art right now is on an individual level and for someone to sit down with themselves at a table and just put a couple marks down on a page, or make a collage, or carve a bar of soap. You do this thing, and then you can stand up and look at it and say, 'Look what I produced, look what I contributed.' And I think that's nice."
See more of Jeremy Lewis's work on his Instagram.
CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See more of our COVID-related coverage here.