In a series of interviews, we want to capture the energy of the moment as we shift to a Virtual First world. We had a chat with Fanny to learn how she’s staying creative and navigating the current work–life landscape. Here’s what she had to say:

What is your story?

I’m a human being transported from the eastern seaboard of America to the West Coast, where I currently work and reside. I studied visual communication design in college because I wanted to do art “practically.” After that, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to make art for a living as an illustrator at Dropbox.

How do you feel right now?

Alright, all things considered! Something I’ve been trying to practice in both life and work is being satisfied with getting through the day, rather than with getting things done. There is an infinite number of things to do, but a finite number of days to be happy and wholly you.

In a time of crisis, how do you maintain your creative practice?

I find that in times of crisis, I have two responses: fight or flight. Sometimes the crisis inspires me to fight back through my work, whether through creations to address social issues or to combat malignant people, feelings, and thoughts. At other times, I just want to step away from creating and retreat to more-neutral or -consumptive activities. I think both of these are valid. I try to go with whatever feels best to me in the moment.

Fanny walking up the stairs

Photograph by Chris Behroozian

Fanny Luor wearing a face-mask

Photograph by Chris Behroozian

How has quarantine changed your approach?

If anything, quarantine has forced me to reconsider not only my creative approach but also my own values and beliefs as they relate to my life, my work, and my role as a human being on this planet.

I see quarantine as a period of deliberation and working things out. I will undoubtedly emerge as a different person. In short, my approach is currently TBD.

What new strategies have you developed to stay creative during COVID-19?

Collaborating and connecting with other artists and makers, disconnecting from social media whenever possible, trying new mediums and activities so I can be a beginner again.

As collaborative work comes online, how are you working with fellow artists?

I work with whatever tools make communication the easiest, usually some combination of texting and video chatting. It's been fun figuring out ways to create work together remotely!

Fanny walking on the streets with a bag in her hand

Photograph by Chris Behroozian

Anxiety is running high right now. What do you do to stay sane?

A classic response—meditation! While this can take the form of a structured program, I find that spending 10 minutes just spacing out while preparing coffee can help me get out of my head, and I can recenter myself. I like to look out the window and focus on a distant point of interest (a tree, another house) in its entirety, trying to dismiss any errant thoughts that pop up in my head.

An image of Fanny's personal workspace

Photograph by Fanny Luor

What do you think the future of work looks like?

I think nomadic workers will gather in communal hubs on an as-needed basis. Lots of work currently happening in the digital realm will elevate the value of in-person work and interactions.

I’m personally a fan of this trajectory. I’ve gained more working time by not having to commute, and I love the ease with which I can access all my personal tools and books by working from home.

I’m an extreme introvert, which might explain why I’m not as eager to return to the office as other people might be. I imagine I’ll miss in-person interactions eventually, though!

Who inspires you right now?

Healthcare workers, organizers, protestors, my friends and family supporting each other.

How can we use creativity for good?

We can be creative in both what and how we make. We should ask ourselves whether we need to be creating anything at all. Maybe we can be creative in how we share and amplify the voice of another person or organization. Maybe we can be creative in how we connect people within our network. These are unprecedented times in which we have to think a lot harder about our approach to being creative for good.

Fanny looking into the cooling box

Photograph by Chris Behroozian

Have you found any special moments of humanity during this time of crisis?

I’ve been exchanging food and ingredients with friends who are local—it’s a small act but such a strong reminder of the power of community and being able to rely on folks around you. It’s given me a sense of how a communal society could be, and I would love for that to be a part of our country’s future.

What are you listening to or watching?

I’ve been listening to “You’re Wrong About,” a podcast that has indeed taught me many things I’m wrong about. Would recommend! I’m also watching “Dark” on Netflix, since I might as well lean into the vibe of the times.

What is your apartment/workspace like?

Ad hoc but it does the trick! I managed to squeeze in a computer station and an analog station for all my messy art supplies, so I can go for a “stroll” to my art desk whenever I need a computer break.

Fanny's arts

Photograph by Fanny Luor

Do you have a daily routine?

I aspire to, but currently I’m lucky if I manage to eat my meals at around the same time every day.

Have you given yourself a haircut yet?

I’ve been trying to grow my bangs out, but I might just cut them soon out of shear (🥁) boredom. (Update: I ended up cutting them.)

Fanny with her hands in the air and snacks

Photograph by Chris Behroozian

Have you found new ways of taking care of yourself or combating anxiety?

While I am loath to admit it, exercise has been a huge help. Also stress naps!

Which local businesses are you supporting?

UndocuFund SF provides direct assistance to undocumented workers and families impacted by the shelter-in-place order. People’s Breakfast Oakland has been doing amazing work supporting the homeless community in Oakland. I’m also keeping an eye on policies and initiatives for climate change.

How are you connecting with the people in your life?

For the most part, through internet-facilitated activities: movie watch parties, online games, FaceTime cooking with friends and family. Rare but treasured six-feet-distant hangouts in my neighborhood.

What’s your hope for the future?

That we as individuals will emerge from this period of simultaneous unrest and stasis with a better understanding of ourselves and our role in society, and that we use this knowledge to push for a just and equal world for all.

What are you dreaming about?

Sitting in a cafe surrounded by the hubbub of life without having to worry about the possibility of catching a deadly virus.

Woman looking outside the window

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