The signs continue to indicate that we will be social distancing for the unforeseeable future. COVID-19 has presented us with incredible challenges and unexpected opportunities to reconnect and determine what it is we want in life. This isn’t to gloss over the gravity of historically high jobless claims and our struggling health care system.
To help you get through this moment as a creative professional, we encourage you to explore these resources and new offers. You’ll find everything from financial assistance to tools you can use to prepare yourself as a job seeker for a smooth transition into a hopefully imminent post-COVID-19 world.
- The Creator Fund is a $50,000 fund for creators that is awarding grants for medical expenses related to the virus, groceries, childcare, and rents or mortgages.
- TILA Studios launched #ABOVE4 Fund, a recurring monthly fund for Black women artists nationwide.
- The New York Foundation for the Arts has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to provide one-time $5,000 grants to all visual and media artists for medical, dental, and mental health emergencies.
- Freelancer's Union continues to provide up to $1,000 to freelancers to alleviate the pressure of lost income and essential expenses.
FOR MENTAL HEALTH
- Inside Journal is an online journal for all of us to share our thoughts and feelings in isolation. You can also post anonymously.
- Dr. Maria Espinola is creating videos to help us with everything from imposter syndrome to anxiety in English and Spanish.
- Booooooom on Slack is a group for creatives to connect with other creatives, ask questions, and get answers. They've waived the fee.
- Ableton is offering free 90-day trials for those interested in immersing themselves in the world of audio editing (great for those video and podcasting positions).
- Aaron Blaise, the animator behind The Lion King and Mulan, made his Fundamentals of Animation course free.
- Skillshare provides two free months of unlimited courses from their collection of over 28,000 classes.
FREE TOOLS TO EXERCISE YOUR SKILLS
When premium tools are just out of reach, these free alternatives can do the work of keeping your artistic instincts and breadth of free-form work fresh.
- Gimp is a free and open-source image editor and designer.
- Sumopaint is an image editor that’s been likened to Photoshop.
- Photopea is used for image editing, illustration, and web design.
- Darktable is a virtual darkroom and light table for photographers.
- Blender is an open-source, 3D animator used for creating films, visual effects, motion graphics, virtual reality, and more.
- OpenToonz is an open-source 2D animator that has been used by Studio Ghibli for select cuts of Princess Mononoke and The Secret World of Arrietty.
- Automatically transcribe audio and video to text with Veed! This tool will save you an enormous amount of time composing a variety of written material. You can also transcribe video files to add subtitles.
- We know it probably needs no introduction, but Audacity allows you to record, edit, add effects, manage sound quality, and import and export.
- Ardour is a digital audio workstation created by musicians, programmers, and professional recording engineers.
- Krita is a painting program created to broaden access to professional-grade concept art, texture and matte painters, and illustration and comic design tools.
- Autodesk SketchBook is a program well-suited to sketching concept art or fully fleshed out designs.
- Ssemble is a video editor with a range of plug-ins including Background Remover, Voice Creator, Google Cloud storage, and Epidemic Sound, in addition to its high-quality editing features that include transition effects and VFX.
- Olive, a video editing service that hasn’t yet reached completion, has still found a sizable user base who take advantage of its daily-added features to create professional-quality videos.
- Kdenlive's video editor offers similarly high-grade editing services such as its unlimited multi-track feature and recently relaunched titler tool.
SPOTLIGHT ON BLACK GIRL MAGIK
A special shout out goes to Black Girl Magik for putting together a lengthy list of resources. It features everything, including mental health tools, recreational activities, financial resources and information about the virus.
LIGHT ON THE HORIZON
With the rollout of vaccines, new stimulus, and a gradual easing of restrictions, the economy will recover this year and next. Still, if you're having a hard time finding resources to keep you afloat, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll work with you to find what you need!
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay in touch,