As the coronavirus crisis continues to leave restaurants throughout Massachusetts vacant, protective restrictions on onsite dining has sent a wave of upheaval crashing into the creative community.
“All of my clients have postponed all projects till further notice,” said Blind Fox artist Erica Hagler, whose modern murals grace the walls of local hotspots. “I’m not even sure that all my clients will make it through to the other side.
“I’m currently still waiting to see if I will be paid for projects I have already completed,” she continued. “I know that restaurants are having a hard time scraping by, so I am not pushing for payment, but I do front all the money to complete these projects, so if I’m not paid, I’m actually at a loss. Who knows if I’ll ever get paid, at this point?”
Hagler, who also creates installations and wall art for other businesses deemed nonessential like fitness studios and salons, added that even after this pandemic passes, she and her peers may still be professionally paralyzed.
“Art is a luxury, not a necessity,” she said, adding, “Unfortunately, my business does rely on the economy. People and businesses have to be doing well to spend extra money on beautiful things.
“This world is always in need of creatives, so I find solace in that, but I am concerned about being able to be as successful as I was before,” she said. “If they aren’t making money, neither am I.”
Food and beverage photographer Brian Samuels said that he, too, has had an entire lineup of work disappear with a flash due to COVID-19.
“What was supposed to be a very busy spring for me completely vanished over the course of a few days,” Samuels said. “In general, the world has just shut down. People were inquiring about photo shoots and then it just stopped.
“Nobody really wants to commit right now,” he added. “I know people that are food stylists that were supposed to have a lot of work and it all just went away for them.”