︎ Sishir Bommakanti
Illustrator and animator
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
translated by Peng Wu
Before the pandemic reached The States, I was already in a situation where I was stuck at my parents, saving up to move out. I just got a job and seven months in, I was working, getting paid reasonably and was very close to finally moving out. I was looking forward to taking the opportunity to live on my own again. Explore local venues for music, spend time with close friends, and discover the amazing things my city offers. All of that was placed on halt as soon as I lost my job during the pandemic. In a way I was prepared for this.
As an introvert, I would think that being stuck at home for an indefinite amount of time is the greatest opportunity ever, but that inward habit of mine needs to be balanced with some dose of social connection that isn't Social Media. The stress of the world, and what is happening is too much to process, and this led me into an unusual cycle of work. My coping mechanism to stress and worry is to just work, cook and spend more time with my cat. Since Covid-19, i’ve been grateful that I procrastinated on my move away from my parents home. I think my health would have been severely affected if I lived alone. At least here, i’ve been learning how to improve my cooking skills thanks to my mom, studying new software in hopes that I can rebrand my portfolio and learn some really interesting things to expand my voice as an artist and have some people to physically talk to, which is the most important. I also take every opportunity to annoy my cat as much as possible. This includes wrapping him up in a blanket two time a day, taking him to explore the backyard and dressing him up in various costumes.
This cycle of “work” may yield some interesting results, perhaps art to share, or learning new things, but the biggest drawback is massive burnout. A lot of that comes from trying to ignore the stress, rather than find an outlet to fix it. This lockdown made me realize that I need to find healthy solutions to dealing with stress, because this cycle of overworking myself will cause problems further down the road. Recently I've bought a Synthesizer to learn and play music. I'm terrible at it, but at least it's a small way for me to get through the day. Something about making ambient sounds makes me feel good, and I hope that eventually that will let me produce music for my films and animation in the future.
I’m learning what balance means, and I currently have plenty of time to meditate on that. I look forward to cooking for friends again.
作为一个内向的人，我有时候觉得被无限长时间困在家里简直是个千载难逢的机会。但我知道自己内心的平衡需要维系一定程度上与外界的社交联系 - 当不是社交媒体所提供的那种联系。整个世界发生着的事情对我来说形成一种难以消解的压力。这些压力逐渐让我进入一种不正常的工作状态。因为通常我对压力和担忧的应对策略就是不停的工作，做饭，花更多时间跟我的猫咪一起玩。新冠疫情发生以后，幸好我拖延了从父母家搬出去自己住的计划。不然的话，疫情中的独居状态一定会让我健康出状况。而现在跟父母一起，至少我跟我母亲学了不少厨艺。同时我还学了不少创作用的软件。我打算用这段时间重整一下我的作品集，拓展我的艺术创作范围，最重要的是希望有机会能找人面对面聊聊天。现在我不放过每一个机会来捉弄我的猫咪：我每天两次把猫咪用毯子裹起来；带他去后院散步；给他穿上各种各样的宠物衣服。