Closed cinemas, empty galleries, theatres and museums. No industry was and probably still is affected by the Corona pandemic and its accompanying restrictions as the creative sector and the art scene. Freelance artists, in particular, face an uncertain outcome to the situation. But where gaps appear, artists get creative and find new meeting points for their community and potential buyers. One of them is Estelle Evers, a professional artist offline and content creator online.
The artist with Indonesian roots has been painting professionally for about five years, but the beginning was not always easy. “When I started, I had a very traditional approach to start in the art scene, and I looked at galleries, restaurants and hotels to get my art seen. Then Covid came, and everything was in lockdown, and that was not an option anymore.” But when opportunities faded, she got creative and searched for new ways to get seen by the public. “That made me think I should have another approach and maybe find more public venues,” explains the owner of Galerie Estelle.
Art in Transit
Loud, hectic and packed with people: A train station is probably not precisely the place you would expect to find an art exhibition. But if you come into Utrecht Centraal, you’ll be greeted by two of Estelle’s paintings, Big Noise and Serenity. For Evers, this was a creative and personal way to get more exposure to her art. “I love Central Station because it’s such a hybrid of all those people coming together, and this is also what my work is all about: the personal stories. It’s like a hotspot for stories,” the artist illustrates why this venue is so unique. Even though this way of exposure doesn’t directly generate income, people got in touch with her. “It is a way for me to say, “Hey, I’m out there”. And it gave me a lot of cool feedback.”
Personal yet Public
Self-Promoting has always been a part of being a professional artist. Still, since the boom of social media in the early 2000s, it has become its own discipline. Especially during the Covid pandemic, social media has proven to connect people from all over the world and gave them a space to be creative. With several million views on her TikToks, Estelle Evers has gone with the times. “Instagram and Tiktok are very important right now – to get yourself out there,” the artist points out. “It offers a very cool way to take your community on a journey. You can just let them see little bits and then have a big reveal,” she further explains. Thus social media brought new business opportunities, it also came with new challenges. “Social media is a good way to show a little bit more about yourself because art is personal. But I do think you have to be aware of what to show on social media as an artist and how personal you get. You have to keep some boundaries for yourself,” explains Estelle.
Within crisis are the seeds of opportunities. That’s why despite all the hurdles and challenges that the Corona pandemic has brought, artists like Estelle keep finding new ways to fill the gaps that have appeared. Even if it is still not the galleries that present the artists’ art, new, unconventional meeting places have been and still are being created.