Extended lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions felt like a never-ending cycle of confinement for many adults — but now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, how do we help our children process the last year?
One D.C. region artist tried to capture the wide array of emotions many children went through early in the pandemic through her art in the book “Staying Home” by Carolyn Woods.
Kendall Robinson, a local artist and a senior at D.C.’s Howard University, is the book’s illustrator.
“It was a book created to help children understand and cope with the different emotions that come with staying home during quarantine, during a pandemic,” she said.
Robinson said the story takes readers from the initial stages of quarantine, when many thought they’d only be home for something akin to a two-week vacation. She depicts a descent from optimism for a quick resolution, to sadness and boredom — and ultimately, back into hope.
The Atlanta native said she drew from her own experience and her own sadness at having her college career cut short by the pandemic.
She tried to make sure all children were represented “because the pandemic happened to every single race, every single creed, every single background.”
Ultimately, she said she wanted children to know that they are not alone in the emotions that they’re feeling.
She said, “It’s OK to be sad, it’s OK to be down and it’s OK to look forward to the future.”
Robinson’s other projects include the D.C. Clean Rivers project. She created several pieces for the project on display at 451 Florida Avenue NW in the District.
Her work was also part of the Warner Music Group’s Black History Month Program. She recreated the legendary R&B Artist Curtis Mayfield’s 1975 Album, “There’s No Place Like America Today,” with her own rendition of the cover invoking today’s political leaders and social landscape.
Robinson began her career at Howard University on a premed track, and decided that art was her true passion. Her advice to other students is, “if you are moving in something you’re passionate about, you will never be unsuccessful. Follow your dreams.”