Staying Sane During Quarantine – #1 Franz Lang
22.04.20 Interview by Wrap

Staying Sane During Quarantine – #1 Franz Lang

The Italian illustrator shares her experience of the lockdown in northern Italy and gives us some tips on daily routines, staying creative, and the therapy of making fresh pasta.
22.04.20 Interview by Wrap

Where are you in the world, and what’s the current lockdown situation?
I’m in my hometown in northern Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo, where the lockdown has been very strict and very long. It’s finally easing out, and the country is supposed to be released on the 3rd May, but outdoor walks were not allowed until a week ago.

What’s your WFH set-up?
I’m quarantining with my sister, and auntie and her two dogs; a pot of coffee is always on, and you can see the mountains from the window (there’s still snow on top), and there’s a lot of home-baked goodies and fresh pasta too. Not too shabby, and I’m getting used to drawing whilst slouching on the couch!

And how’s work looking the moment?
Work is OK – flowing a bit slower than normal. I’ve been struggling with my concentration since being on lockdown, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my desk. I’ve also noticed a drastic change in my creativity, with a lot of bad days where my brain isn’t able to think about images at all. It’s surprising to see how missing out on daily life tasks can have such a strong impact on my mind and mental health.

Have you got a new routine?
Indeed, I have set up some sort of routine to keep me on track; trying to wake up early in the morning, do a workout or follow an online yoga class, create different moments during the day to check on myself, and concentrate on a single task (work, chores etc) at one time. It can be a bit hard not to mix everything together if you’re always at home.

Any tips for great music/TV/books, or favourite distraction to pass the time?
Music-wise, this playlist was recommended to me and it’s perfect for both work, and working out. And very nice reads are Let the Games Begin by Niccolò Ammaniti, and Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut. Both are short and uplifting, and will make you laugh at times.

What about exercise?
On Day 1 of the lockdown I downloaded a couple of fitness apps that offer lots of different classes, from pilates to targeted workouts, and you can pick the length you prefer. It’s easy to adapt them to your needs, and luckily I’ve got a small garden, so on a sunny day I can go outdoors to sweat.

Any life hacks for the current climate?
Make more fresh pasta! Making the dough is like therapy, and it always tastes good.

Top quarantine snack/drink/recipe?
Again, I have to say pasta. It’s an all-time favourite of mine.

Are you working on any new projects or skills during the lockdown?
I’ve been keeping a quarantine drawing journal, which might become a zine at some point. It’s full of emotions though, so I’ll have to go through and filter it.

Have you volunteered or contributed to any projects that you want to give a shout out to?
My favourite guys at No Planet No Fun (@noplanetnofun) have organised an ‘Exquisite Corpse’ project, which I’ve taken part in. The idea is to create a shared puzzle-like artwork on their Instagram feed featuring work by lots of different artists, as a way to reflect on how important human relationships and interactions are.

Which creative/studio should we be following, or someone to make us feel good?
I’m loving this Instagram account at the moment: @tasteofstreep, and R/GA’s Twitter account is always hilarious! (@RGA).

–––––––––––– / @franz_lang_