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Huang with one of her paintings

How one Atlanta-based artist is finding a place for her art at home.

Zoo cameras, Instagram live concerts, virtual museum tours – with everyone isolated in their homes as a result of Georgia’s statewide shelter in place order, people are making changes to the way they approach their work. But for individuals whose work is built around creating and sharing their art, how do they adjust?

Melissa Huang, an Atlanta-based artist and Masters of Fine Arts student at Georgia State, isn’t letting staying at home interrupt her work. In fact, she’s using it as a chance to approach her art in new ways. Painting is Huang’s mode of choice, but she has had to make some adjustments to how she approaches it given that she is now completing all of her work at home.

Here are some of her tips if your home has also become your studio:

  1. Create a dedicated space, if you can. Huang has set up a painting station with an easel in one corner of her apartment so that she has a dedicated space for her work.
  2. Scale down. Normally, Huang uses large canvases. But, given her current space constraints (and that she shares her space with her husband, who is also an artist), she has started using smaller canvases for her pieces.
  3. Take some time to try out new mediums. Some mediums are going to be easier to execute at home, such as graphic design or video. Since she began working remotely, Huang and her husband have begun working together on a video project that makes everyday objects surreal.
  4. Continue to ask for feedback. Huang says that she has continued to seek feedback on her progress from her fellow artists at Georgia State. They mostly use Slack chats to share pictures and give their insights.

Huang’s Me IRL Exhibition

Huang with one of her paintings

Huang says that, with social distancing practices in place, our social media personas have become, in some ways, the only personas people are able to access. And for Huang, whose work has predominantly focused on the idea of an individual’s multiplicity of identity, this era of distancing has sparked ideas for not only her own art, but for exhibiting others’ art, as well.

In fact, Huang was inspired to curate a digital exhibition focused around this idea of social media personas. Her exhibition, Me IRL, explores the divide between our public and private selves, including how social distancing is affecting how we express ourselves on social media. The exhibition is housed entirely on Instagram. Huang, as well as her partner galleries – Mint Gallery, Georgia State University’s Welch School of Art & Design, Atlanta’s Therapeutic Artists Residency, Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College, and ShowerHaus Gallery – posted photos of the pieces to their respective Instagram pages.

Check out Huang’s Instagram page and those of her partner galleries to view the Me IRL exhibition.

Mint Gallery

Georgia State University’s Welch School of Art & Design

Atlanta’s Therapeutic Artists Residency

Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College

ShowerHaus Gallery

This blog is part of a series that provides tips on adjusting to telework from professionals in fields that don’t traditionally work from home. If you are working in a traditionally non-teleworking profession and have made the change to working from home, we want to hear from you! Email us at

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