Stuck in quarantine? This quirky app can help you stay creative

Time appears to cease when you are caught in quarantine, like I’m proper now. Everything at house remains to be, and if you stay in a quiet residential space with little foot visitors, even the panorama appears to have frozen. Against all odds, I discovered some reduction to my restlessness in a reasonably new app that makes use of artwork as a device for self-exploration. This morning, for instance, I went across the residence on the lookout for motion that might make for a great time-lapse video. My search led me to the window, the place I spent a minute admiring—and filming—the slight tremor of the curtain underneath the breeze.

Like tens of millions of Americans over the vacations, I obtained Covid (almost certainly omicron) and located myself caught in Bulgaria, which has a compulsory quarantine interval of 14 days. (I’m on day seven, although actually, I’m on day twelve as a result of my husband examined first and his quarantine rolled into mine.) First got here the flicks, then the boredom, then a deep sense of resignation that led me to hours of doomscrolling on my cellphone.

[Image: courtesy W1D1]That’s after I fell for an Instagram story promoting a brand new app known as w1d1 (it stands for week 1 day 1). Created by Russian designers Alexey Ivanovsky and Andrei Keske, the app made its well timed debut in the beginning of the pandemic. The slew of lockdowns exacerbated our obsession with screens—the typical time we spent on our telephones went up by 25% to virtually 7 hours in 2020. There’s an app for all the things; the irony of this one is that it reminds you to lookup out of your cellphone.

“It’s a weird creature to come up with,” Ivanovsky tells me on a Zoom name (the founders parted methods earlier than the app launched and Ivanovsky now runs the corporate with three different individuals). The app prices $50 for a yr, which is greater than I’ve ever spent on an app (thank you, quarantine desperation). In return, you can go for a each day problem or select from a sequence of so-called “blocks,” or themes that align along with your pursuits: I picked images, collage, private historical past, and reflection.


[Image: courtesy W1D1]The overarching objective is to make room for creativity on daily basis, and to take action in an accessible approach. “We are all afraid of the white canvas,” he says, however these everyday prompts flip the creative apply right into a ritual, like 10 minutes of meditation a day.

The creative mind behind the each day challenges is w1d1’s head of content material, Nina Zakharova. My first immediate was impressed by American photographer Edward Weston, who, as I discovered, was identified for turning topics like cabbage leaves and cone snails into summary shapes and patterns. My husband and I even made it right into a sport, difficult one another to search out the mysterious object primarily based solely on the image. I shot a stack of DVDs from above and at such an angle they have been unrecognizable. He zoomed in on the holes of a saltshaker till his digital camera misplaced focus and so they appeared like two yellow orbs. (He gained.)

[Image: courtesy W1D1]The app is impressed by the work of Twentieth-century literary critic Victor Shklovsky, for whom the aim of artwork was to help us see issues like we see them for the primary time—”to make issues unusual once more,” as Ivanovsky says. Every job culminates in one thing that you share on the app’s platform, like on Instagram, besides solutions stay nameless. Ivanovsky says about 30,000 individuals use the app, lots of them in Russia but in addition the U.S., U.Ok., Australia, and Canada. (The app is accessible in Russian and English, with a model in Japanese coming quickly.)

[Image: courtesy W1D1]The concept right here is to construct a various group with individuals around the globe who can see how others are reacting to the identical problem. But solely a fraction of customers truly do the challenges. That’s the factor with apps, they should deal with human procrastination and really brief consideration spans, as a result of finally the app can solely work if you’re keen to extract your self from the sofa and play alongside.


The irony that that is app exists to remind us of the surface world isn’t misplaced on Ivanovsky, who describes himself as “an offline type of person.” But to him, expertise can be a method to a extra “conscious and observant life.” Fundamentally, he says, it’s all about how “ridiculously interesting everything is.”

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