Watch 270+ Short Documentaries of Artists at Work, and Let Them Inspire Your Creative Process

Imagine if comedian Amy Sedaris were self-isolating with artists Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon.

Perhaps they’d barricade themselves into separate rooms, hunched over their individual screens, cursing their roommates for slowing down their livestreams, but we prefer to think they’d busy themselves with projects such as Dzama’s short film, “Dance Floor Dracula, Prelude in C-Sharp Minor.”




Enjoy a glimpse into the friends’ collaborative creative process, above, compliments of Art21’s Extended Play, a short documentary series offering backstage access to living, working artists, from established to emerging.

Much of the content seems germane to the world we find ourselves in now, when the creative playing field feels remarkably open to our participation, thanks to crowdsourced projects like the ongoing photo challenge wherein ordinary citizens are using their phones and household objects to recreate famous artworks at home.

Painter Tala Madani takes viewers through her sketchbook and talks about its value as a method of capturing ideas and as the “most immediate record of the thinking process.” The cartoonish quality of her sketches may help those who’d let a lack of confidence in their artistic ability stop them from attempting to document their observations of our changed reality visually. A sketchbook is also a great place for the seeds of future projects to germinate.

The preparations for Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center’s annual fashion show, Beyond Trend, could send you scuttling to your closet or recycling bin, inspired by William Scott’s papier-mâché Frankenstein mask—a five day effort—or the patches Christine Szeto embroiders with titles of favorite Taylor Swift songs, then sews to her jeans in orderly columns.

This sort of wearable art doesn’t require advanced needle skills or knowledge of how garments are put together, making it perfectly tailored to those open to exploring new sides of themselves in isolation.

That said, we are sure the featured designers are anxiously awaiting the reopening of Creative Growth, which serves artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities.

Community and creativity are showing themselves to be equally essential to our wellbeing.

Watch all 270+ episodes of Art21’s Extended Play here, or right below:

Related Content: 

The Seven Road-Tested Habits of Effective Artists

Moebius Gives 18 Wisdom-Filled Tips to Aspiring Artists

Love the Art, Hate the Artist: How to Approach the Art of Disgraced Artists

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday.


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