As we all deal with disruptions to our daily routines thanks to COVID-19, people have been looking for other ways to fill their time by picking up paintbrushes, sewing kits or cameras, and getting creative in quarantine.

Under instruction to stay at home, there has been space to remember and relearn ways of creating that were left behind as life got too busy. Ingenuity has come from boredom and social media has been colored with crafty reimaginings of the protective yōkai (monster) Amabie, ingenious homemade face masks and endless sourdough recipes.

The call of inspiration during a time of uncertainty is not a new phenomena. It’s thought that William Shakespeare might have written “King Lear” during an epidemic in 1564. Back in 1665, during his time in isolation due to the Great Plague, Sir Isaac Newton asked himself “How does the universe work?” and ended up proposing the theory of gravity, and Edvard Munch got his creative juices flowing and painted a series of artworks during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.