SJCC students maintain creativity during pandemic

Artists adjust to the lockdown and its restrictions

Isabella Morrison, an 18-year-old student at Milpitas High School and San Jose City College, plays her electric guitar at home, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.

As COVID-19 worsens every day, the virus continue to strike a lot of student creators at San Jose City College.

Lidia Rocha, a 20-year-old SJCC student majoring in liberal arts and humanities, said she believes the pandemic keeps her from reaching her full potential as an artist.

“COVID has somewhat made me lose some passion as I love photography, and it’s really hard to go out and set up photoshoots,” Rocha said.

It can be quite challenging for her to find public places that are open and comfortable enough to shoot, Rocha said.

“Most parks are closed and many models I like to work with prefer to stay at home,” Rocha said. “I’ve attempted to do photoshoots at home or around my neighborhood, but it’s not the same as working with people.”

While students are finding alternative ways to continue their work, Xzander Smith, a-20-year-old videography major, said in a Zoom interview that there was a moment during the pandemic when he questioned how much his interest was lost.

“COVID-19 initially slowed me down and even made me rethink pursuing videography during the pandemic,” Smith said. “I was able to overcome the initial bump and catch a groove as time went on.”

He said he is doing his best to maintain his health while he continues shooting videos.

“Currently I’ve been able to capitalize off of my situation by leveraging the amount of free time I have on my hands,” Smith said.

Smith said the limited spaces he worked with inspired him to think outside of the box and become more adjustable to what he had.

COVID-19 is not just hindering students at SJCC. According to an Aug. 11 article published by the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., about 2.3 million people lost jobs in creative industries nationwide.

Isabella Morrison, an 18-year-old student attending Milpitas High School and SJCC is a song writer who often works alone.

“I’m lucky that songwriting is such an individual activity,” Morrison said. “I make my songs with GarageBand and my two guitars. I sing over them myself with headphones so the need to be in a studio isn’t something I’ve experienced.”