Sarah Laing, The Covid-19 Diaries
Sarah Laing describes herself as a cartoonist, fiction writer, illustrator, graphic designer and mother of three. Her cartoons and comic books are autobiographical, covering all aspects of the days of her life. From 26 March she began The Covid-19 Diaries, an online journal with pictures about the lockdown that is informed by its sense of immediacy and regularity, Laing working in ink directly onto the blank page of paper and a commitment to ten panels each day (also making it suitable for instagram).
The Covid-19 Diaries look like the initial layout for a comic strip, so there is an intimacy and authenticity about it. The pleasure in following the detail of Laing and her family’s daily experiences of lockdown is in the familiarity of their circumstances. For example; that once-a-week visit to the supermarket seems more than all too familiar. Laing’s daily posting convey such encounters without the overstated affirmations of the television news’ nightly coverage of lockdown. Rather, it is in the small details of her life that a bigger picture and sense of the reality of lockdown is revealed.
And The Covid-19 Diaries are interactive. At the conclusion of each daily entry, Laing has a short essay providing some context to the day, with feedback from interested readers. It feels spontaneous, unedited and hastily drawn and this is to its advantage. Laing’s art has an honesty and respect for its readers and The Covid-19 Diaries are, indeed, about having sincere and meaningful conversations.
See: https://sarahelaing.com/ and instagram: sarahelaing
- Sarah Laing, Untitled (Brave New World), 27 March 2020
- Sarah Laing, Untitled (and of course, when it comes to the mill), 27 March 2020