While everyone was stuck at home, we had to think outside the box when it came to staying active and engaged. Getting creative is something that Jessica Hitchcock knows all about. She transitioned from working in finance to a career as an artist and now is dedicated to helping others follow their passions. We checked in with Hitchcock to see what she was up to while sheltering in place.

What have you been working on?
My focus has been on helping other artists and people who want to grow their side businesses or passions into a full-time job. When I first made the transition to full-time artist, a lot of other entrepreneurs and artists wanted to talk about the process. I noticed that people had the same questions, so I planned to create some virtual courses to help. Once we began sheltering in place, people started focusing on their side hustles. Given this sense of urgency, I was motivated to get these courses together. I also have a blog to help bridge the art and business sides of the brain, and I want to start a podcast. I want to equip other people who are passionate with the knowledge and skills to achieve what they want, and serving others is giving me a sense of purpose.

On the art side, I started a virtual art crawl on Instagram the first week of quarantine. Each Friday at 8 p.m., I share around 30 artists with my followers. People seem to really enjoy it, and it creates a sense of community through art. The crawl uses social media the way it’s meant to be, to connect and communicate with new people. 

How did you keep creatively engaged?
Creating isn’t my main focus, but I’m still painting. I recently released a collection this week, and I’ve been doing live streams on Instagram and Facebook, so people can watch and relax. The response has been fantastic, and I enjoy showing up for people in creative ways. Whether it’s painting, inspiring or teaching, I like to focus on serving others.  

Has the current situation had an impact on your art?
I thought it would, but it hasn’t. If anything, it’s made me double down on my style because it’s got happy vibes. My art is bright and colorful, and that’s what people need and want to see right now. 

Do you have advice for making the most of your time?
One thing is to keep showing up for yourself. It’s natural to feel like you want to retreat or can’t move forward, but be proactive. Now is the perfect time to get organized with what you want to accomplish. We’re all going to get past this, so figure out where you want to be six months down the road and work toward it. I suggest finding an accountability person. On a day-to-day basis, have someone who will check on how you are doing and make sure you’re moving the ball forward and not getting into a funk. 

What are you looking forward to now that the city is opening?
So many things! I’m dreaming about parties with my friends. It may sound vague, but I most missed being able to connect with people in person. Online connection is great, but having conversations face-to-face is something I feel we take for granted. I didn’t notice how much I enjoyed it until I couldn’t anymore. I also have missed going to new places. My husband and I are big travelers.