• LGBT2Q+ Events in Kelowna and throughout the Okanagan

Self-Isolating in an Artist’s World

As a queer artist who identifies as gender non-binary, I sometimes find it difficult leaving the house. I personally feel comfortable in my male body but often identify moreso as a woman or sometimes genderless even.

As an individual who loves staying at home, there is nothing better than the feeling of having a fully stocked kitchen and a canvas ready to paint in the studio. No pressure to leave the house and plenty of activities planned at home.

I often wear a mix of male and female clothes when I’m at home (and in general). I’m a drag queen and it comes naturally to me. However, I sometimes feel anxious about going out because I have been harassed, physically attacked, and sexually assaulted while presenting as non-binary in Kelowna.

I am a strong individual, large and in charge, but sometimes I don’t feel safe or just don’t want to risk being harassed or gawked at. So, in a sense, these troubling times are old hat for me.

As an artist, I also know how to cook on a tight budget, make things last, and I’m always eager to get creative in the kitchen. So, anyway, I know not everyone is as well-equipped for self-isolating as I am so I thought I’d share my pro-tips on thriving during these challenging times.

1. Get creative! Draw. Paint. Play that guitar that sits in your corner. Develop a new skill or hobby. There are literally so many things you can do with your free time. You don’t need to be an artist to be creative. Sew/sing/anything!

2. Create a routine. Set small goals ie. Today I’m going to start one painting and finish it within at least 3 days. A few hours painting. A few hours doing chores. Practical things. Fun things. BALANCE is key.

3. Get out of the house. Even if it’s just for a walk down the street or a short bike ride. We all need fresh air and sunlight right now. Do it!

4. Exercise at home. Stretch. Do yoga. It all helps.

5. Write. And not just for FB. Write for yourself. Explore your inner worlds, your fears, your passions. Get to know yourself for the first time. Writing is so important trust me.

6. Call your friends and family. Reach out. Communicate. Connect. We all need it.

7. Think of how you’re going to improve your life when this is over. Make a plan, work towards that plan: you got this.

8. Ration your food and supplies. We are so used to being greedy and wasteful. Get creative in the kitchen and make things last. Do not waste.

9. Breath. Stay calm. Meditate. Lay on the floor for ten minutes a day and try to clear your mind.

10. Go easy on yourself. Our minds can be our biggest enemies. Practice self-love and self-care. Focus on your good qualities. If you don’t love yourself reach out to those that do. We are all in this together. Always.

Be sure to follow my social media for regular updates on my art, cooking, drag, and music. I’m sharing as much as possible right now so please enjoy.

Cheers and stay safe!

Insta: @shannonlesterart

FB: Shannon Lester Art
Sasha Zamolodchikova

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/serendipityweeps

Website: www.shannonlester.com

Contributor, Shannon Lester: Shannon Lester aka Sasha Zamolodchikova is a Kelowna-based visual artist, drag queen/entertaintrix, event producer, and teacher.