Artistic quarantine hobbies flower into lasting passions


Isaac Dorfman

Senior Isaac Dorfman jams out on the guitar with his band, Empire.

With a lack of social interaction, deprivation of physical classroom environments, and an increasing reliance on technology during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, disconnection from the world frightened many. To cope with adversity, many AWHS students honed new creative hobbies that have flourished beyond boundaries.  

Senior Isaac Dorfman spent his quarantine deep-diving into guitar, which had a lasting effect on his use of free time and his character. 

“The time I had during quarantine to think thoughtfully about who I was versus who I wanted to be definitely shifted the things I care about. I’m much more grounded to real and genuine things that matter,” Isaac said. 

Before the pandemic, Isaac had knowledge of bass, but it was the development of his skills as a guitarist that inspired him to persevere through the lockdown..

 “I created my own little world… Music was literally everything to me; just listening to it. Practicing, playing, trying to emulate the things I heard.” Isaac said. 

Like Isaac, junior Ava Funke pursued music during lockdown. Posting covers of her favorite songs on Soundcloud (a popular music distribution platform), music has always been an art form that drove Ava. The free time she had during the pandemic allowed her to turn her interest into a deeper passion. 

Over quarantine I hit a bit of a rough spot and I was super unmotivated… I heard this really beautiful French song, a dark mood kind of song, and I thought ‘I really want to do a cover of this song,’” Ava said.

Making music allowed Ava an outlet to release stress during the pandemic, and in the long run she was grateful for the experience.   

“Since they have had so much free time on their hands, I feel like [COVID-19] has really awakened a lot of people. I’m really grateful for that eye opening, bigger picture experience,” Ava said.

Music isn’t the only skill AWHS students have developed after quarantine. Many creators started online stores and Instagram art accounts to document their work and share their passion with their communities. 

AWHS junior Luna Snell began making jewelry over the pandemic. She was inspired by her friend, who also started making earrings and other wearable art, and Luna decided to pursue jewelry making herself. 

“There’s been two things that I’ve been doing during [the pandemic], one is making earrings… Closer to the beginning of quarantine, I started making these big showcase pieces called ‘kandi’ (large showcases made of bead),” Luna said.`

After spending time perfecting her craft during the lockdown, Luna now has plans to open her own jewelry store. 

“Because of [COVID-19] I’ve had a lot more opportunities to take control of my life. I’ve been creative all my life and I’ve been able to make something of it,” Luna said. 

Through tough times, AWHS students honed creative passions that eventually grew beyond the four walls of their bedrooms.