Do you fantasize that a cure for Covid-19 will be discovered tomorrow and you’ll waltz out the door leaving your homemade mask behind? Sigh. Welcome to my world! While the reality we face right now is a lot less rosy, the process of getting through this difficult period of unknowns can be viewed as an opportunity to build resilience and creativity. Although I’ve never lived through anything like this before, I’ve had the normal share of life challenges to date. And with (almost) a half century’s experience in overcoming tough times, I can humbly offer the following hard won advice for how to be resilient.

How To Be Resilient – An Artist’s Perspective

Needless to say, a lot – if not everything – depends on how we look at the world.

From my experience, the more we view the world (and ourselves) with love and a sense of humor, the more we’ll grow and flex the muscles of creativity and wonder.

How to be resilient - An Artist's Perspective.  Illustration of muscle-bound man walking his tiny dog

Which is why I keep showing up at my drafting table each day to create new drawings, illustrations and cartoons. To be honest, sometimes what I create is crap. This can be especially apparent when I view an illustration with new eyes by looking at it in reverse. Other times, my illustration or cartoon seems to just flow from my pen. Of course, I prefer the latter and dread the former. However, when I look back on the experience of creating a crap illustration I know that each one has taught me something new.


“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

W.B. Yeats


One of my illustrations is among 3 featured illustrations on the SCBWI (metro chapter) website this month. Click here to visit the site. Then scroll to the 3rd blue dot under the landing page illustration and you’ll see my illustration.


  1. Jennifer Farquhar Greenlee says:

    Yes, resilience!! A necessity these days. I’m staying busy here with some cool musical and household projects. I always read your posts, even though I don’t comment every time. Love your little cat and mouse friends!

    • Joana says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Are you doing any reupholstering of furniture? I thought of you when I pulled out my sewing machine and made the homemade masks on Sunday. 🙂 I was amazed that I still remembered how to thread my sewing machine and wind a bobbin. (Actually, I’m not sure I wound the bobbin correctly – the thread wasn’t evenly dispersed – but it worked well enough.)

      I finished reading Eleanore Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and Olive Kitteridge recently. Now I need another good book.

      Stay safe, stay well! Sending you a big hug!

  2. Jennifer Farquhar Greenlee says:

    I haven’t been reupholstering recently, but I am in the process of turning Grace’s large playroom into my music and craft studio, where I’ll have plenty of room to work on my many upholstery projects! I’ve also been busy making videos of me performing—look for me on YouTube!

    • Joana says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      I can’t wait to see your Youtube videos! Can you send me the link? I just Googled “Jennifer Farquhar Youtube” and a channel came up. But I’m not sure if it’s yours…

      How is Grace doing? I remember that you had created a type of home gym for her. Is she ok turning over her playroom to you? I apologize if I’m behind on your family news…one drawback to not being on Facebook.

      Sending you lots of love,

    • Joana says:

      Ooh, thank you for sending me the link to your YouTube page. I just subscribed! I loved hearing you play Bach, seeing your smiling face along the shore of the lake in Michigan, and seeing you playing the violin with green hair. 🙂 And, the “quartet” video with improvised homemade percussion additions is absolutely adorable! 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing more of your videos! xox – Joana

Leave a Reply