Life in Lockdown

As COVID-19 spread across the world in 2020, countries across every continent went into lockdowns as governments implemented restrictions designed to halt the spread of the disease through communities.

The need to stay at home became a unifying experience, and one that inspired many illustrators on our shortlist to create visual responses, often as personal projects to keep their creative muscles moving!

This highly detailed, humourous artwork by 33_original looks at how home could become a place of adventure during lockdown; using our imagination to go camping, surfing, fishing and sunbathing. Even when going through a terrible time, it’s still possible to have fun!

Nina Bachmann‘s illustrations were created during the time of the first lockdown in 2020, with the aim of trying to stay creative, and process what was happening at home. Capturing the new rhythm of video calls, online wine tastings,  watching the news and a general slowing down of life, these digital pieces are a humorous, historical testimony of the early days of Lockdown.

Being stuck at home can still provide inspiration, as Jordan Robertson‘s colourful illustrations inspired by the home environment attest. These bright and bold pieces take everyday objects and transform them into textured, complex images that play with positive and negative space.

Dani Torrent‘s illustrations explore the subject of intimacy, and the lack of human contact during Lockdown. Made using coloured pencils, these sensual illustrations capture a sense of desire and longing during this period.

This series of illustrations by Myriam Wares was developed for Wealthfront as a social media campaign during the COVID-19 lockdown. The cat can be seen doing several relatable indoor activities, such as binge watching nature documentaries, kneading sourdough, and reading Infinite Jest. The idea of the project was to cheer people up during difficult times.

Jason Chuang’s series of illustrations are a poetic visualisation during lockdown, which for him became a time for self-reflection. The making of these artworks was an almost cathartic, healing act.

This work in a postcard format was created by Julie Stone as a way of keeping in touch through isolation, with a message of care and looking after mental wellbeing.

Benjamin Flouw‘s illustration was commissioned by the New York Times to accompany an article by David Sibley about the benefits of birdwatching in times of the pandemic and isolation. The illustration shows how birdwatching could help us to mentally escape during this challenging period.

OIiwia Bober‘s personal project acts as a diary, turning lists into scenes and situating them into the floral and geometric structures that underpin the compostion. Created during lockdown in March 2020, this illustration acts as a visual archive of events in 2019 and the early months of 2020. The work is an acrylic painting, and almost 2m tall.

This work by Lotte Cassidy documents the strangeness of lockdown. These drawings capture small moments and mundane details from observation of everyday life, finding strangeness in the seemingly ordinary.

Jennifer Baranowska‘s illustrations capture a sense of playfulness from a global perspective, highlighting that staying at home needn’t be boring.