Rudy VanderLans is the photographer behind the “Still Lifes” series and new release Anywhere, California. You can view his work on and Instagram.

How are you spending this time? Are you creating art “as usual,” or is there a variance to your routine?

I’ve worked from home for the past couple of decades, so there’s not much of an adjustment there. I try to stick to my daily routine as best I can. I try to get dressed before 8:30 am. That’s important. Then it’s just a matter of sitting down behind the computer and work. Making art is like running. You have to keep at it to stay in shape.

What’s been the biggest challenge for you, and how are you handling it?

I just worry about my friends in the arts and design and publishing communities. Even in normal times these are not easy ways to make a living. Yet art is essential. It’s what’s keeping me sane these days. Imagine a life without books, movies, art. What would be the point?

What advice would you give to anyone struggling to create right now?

I suggest you read Gary Panter’s recent Facebook post.

Rudy's home studio
Rudy’s home studio

How can people support the arts community during this time?

This sounds simplistic, or impossible, but if you have any money to spare, buy books, art, music, etc. It’s satisfying, because It nurtures the soul.

What do you hope people take away from all this? Do you think the arts community will look different as we transition back to “normal”?

I’m not sure if we want to transition back to “normal.” Normal left much to desire for many people, including artists. Inequality is probably at the root of most of our problems. The arts suffers from it as well, with too much money concentrated at the top. So let’s hope we’ll learn to spread the wealth around, so everybody can live a decent life.

We asked each artist to send a picture of whatever last made them smile – here’s an image by Tucker Nichols.