Back in 2017, in a corner of a restaurant close to the beach in Somerset West, South Africa, I made this random doodle of a four-legged, friendly beast in my visual journal. The creature was chewing on a man, who was seemingly in some sort of distress, with an exclamation mark springing from his mouth.
This year, at the beginning of January, without any conscious knowledge of the COVID-19 virus and the potential outbreak, I decided to dust off the doodle and give it some colour in Photoshop. Only a month later, to my utmost astonishment, my country – South Africa – went into lockdown together with the rest of the world, as the Coronavirus was declared a pandemic. This doodle of a man being bullied by a red, almost 'crowned' creature, didn't mean a lot to me back in 2017, but all of a sudden it gained new weight and significance.
I take two insights from this experience:
1 | Do not underestimate the revelatory potential of doodles, no matter how quirky, random or bizarre they might be. Sometimes, our subconscious knows something before we do.
2 | To me, at least, this four-legged creature looks tameable. Yes, this virus is going to have a big impact on our world, but through perseverance, unshakeable courage and patience, we will endure this difficulty and come out stronger.
Stay safe, be brave and keep making art.
Love and peace,