Article and photos by Noel Stevens | Mar. 25, 2021
Ernest Chan is a 24-year-old visual artist based in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Chan was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and after graduating from the University of Texas with a double major in advertising and psychology, he ventured to New York to look for work. In November 2019, Chan landed a job in advertising.
Only four months after Chan’s professional career began, the pandemic’s first wave hit New York City. As many fled, he stayed put and still works full time as a graphic designer and art director for the advertising firm DDB Worldwide. Chan is grateful for his job, but considering how the pandemic is hitting creative fields the hardest, he knows he is lucky.
Some artists have even felt more inspired during their time in quarantine, but circumstance plays a large role. Lavada June Roberts is a Nashville-based painter who said she was 50-years-old, with a wink, and no longer works. She has used her considerable free time to experiment and incorporate themes of metaphysics, longing, and isolation into her art. On the subject of how prolific she has been, Roberts said, “since the pandemic, I’m constantly painting; I get into the zone and don’t want to get out!”