Get creative with podcasts, online tours, and classes

With podcasts, gallery tours, and art challenges freely available online, now is the perfect time to start exploring your creative side.

Being isolated doesn't mean you can't be creative. Image credit: South_agency/iStock
Being isolated doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Image credit: South_agency/iStock

In a time when you can be a hero by just staying at home, you could be forgiven for stretching out on the couch and whiling away the hours. And why not? There may not be another day for a long time where guilt-free vegetating can be so easily added to your agenda.

The reality, however, is the inevitable creep of boredom. For some it may take a day, for others a week, but it is almost guaranteed to rear its ugly head at some point. With so many of us staying home, now could be the perfect time to find a way to inject some creativity into your life.

We’ve scoured the web to find you the most creative, cultured, and artistic ways to spend your time. Whether you’re an artist by trade or simply looking to tap into a craft, now is the time to explore your creative side.

Podcasts on art and culture

What Artists Listen To is a podcast brought to you by London-born, LA-based artist Pia Pack. The podcast explores the artists in her LA community, with each episode dedicated to an interview with one artist mixed with passages from songs.

Pack is interested in exploring the musical tastes of artists, and the idea that music can give insight into those engaged in the often solitary creation of art. In a time where isolation is on the cards for many, this podcast helps to interweave the stories and dreams of an artistic community that reminds us all we are never truly alone. 

Recording Artists” is a podcast that explores the lives of female artists, their work, and their relationship with feminism during the civil rights movements in the 60s and 70s. Renowned contemporary art curator Helen Moleworth uses her storytelling prowess to combine recorded interviews with chats with contemporary artists and art historians to explore the inner workings of such luminary figures as Alice Neel, Lee Krasner, and Yoko Ono.

Tap into your inner Hemingway

A little bit of freestyle writing might seem daunting, but you aren’t committing to a 10-part book series simply by picking up a pen or opening a blank Google doc.

Writing something of your own, be it poetry, fiction, or even free-form essays, is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get the creative juices flowing.

With the lockdown in full effect in many countries across the globe, why not try out a writing course run by the likes of James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, or Neil Gaiman? Online course platform Masterclass has an incredible line-up of writers hosting various writing lessons, all of which are regularly updated. 

Get to grips with an easel

Those looking to put paintbrush or pencil to paper should check out illustrator Carson Ellis, who posts daily art challenges to her followers — think contour portraits, prompted subjects, and perspective art. For those working from home with kids, bestselling author Wendy MacNaughton has taken up the role of beloved school art teacher on Instagram, hosting daily classes for children, an ideal way to channel that  boundless energy.

Art projects are a great way to keep kids entertained. Image credit; wundervisuals/iStock
Art projects are a great way to keep kids entertained. Image credit: wundervisuals/iStock

Tour museums in total privacy

The world-famous Guggenheim in New York has almost 2000 of it’s 8000 pieces currently uploaded in full digital glory online. Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has ensured a staggering 640,000 pieces past and present are available for your discerning perusal. 

For those wanting a more immersive art experience, the Royal Academy of Arts in London has opened its 2014 exhibition “Sensing Spaces” to the public via virtual tour. The “era-defining” exhibition explores the concept of space through the work of seven incredible architects. Wander through a colorful honeycomb-shaped cave, climb to the top of a wooden tower, or simply rest your eyes in the Zen garden — all from the comfort of your home.

If you’re more of a history buff instead of an art aficionado, the British Museum offers a virtual tour of the Great Court from your laptop. With one of the most extensive collections of historical artifacts in the world, you can view the Rosetta Stone or ancient Roman tools and equipment without the crowds. 

Thanks to 3D technology, you can also tour the famous Chauvet Cave in France, containing some of the best preserved cave paintings on the planet – dating back almost 37,000 years ago. 

Cooking up a storm

Cook up a storm in the kitchen with guidance from some incredible chefs. Image credit: pixelfit/iStock
Cook up a storm in the kitchen with guidance from some incredible chefs. Image credit: pixelfit/iStock

The famous chef Massimo Bottura, of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, has been offering classes for free on his Instagram page. Watching the passionate cook is a delight, as he cheerfully teaches you how to conjure up anything from souffles to hummus during what he calls “Kitchen Quarantine”. Bottura takes particular care to ensure that his directions are accessible to those with even the most rudimentary of skills.

If you’re looking for something a little more formal, the American chef Christopher Kimball has made his entire online cooking school available for free until the end of April. The school, known as “177 Milk Street”, has an incredibly extensive array of recipes for you to attempt, whether you’re in the mood for something quick and easy or something a bit more complex

With such an array of artistic classes and tours available, you’ll be able to keep the creative neurological pathways in your brain fresh and active. There’s no reason you can’t emerge from quarantine with a wealth of new skills and knowledge at your disposal.