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CoviDiaries: Ken Carbone, To Rome and Back

In order to make the creative world feel a bit less lonely and a bit more connected in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve decided to kick off a new blog series—CoviDiaries—that will bring us into the homes and minds of various designers, illustrators and other professionals, to see how they’re coping. We’ll publish a few installments each week and would love to hear from you, too. In the meantime, here’s a dispatch from Ken Carbone in Piermont, New York.

On Feb. 3, I arrived in Rome for a three-month visit. I was there to teach a branding course at the Michael Graves College for Architecture and Design, followed by an artist’s residency at the American Academy. Along with teaching, I had ample time for touring, drawing, dining and discovery. It was “Glorious Maximus.”

Life in Rome, “BC.”

… Then came COVID-19. Quickly, Italy became a “hot zone.” My classes were canceled. The students returned home. I remained for another two weeks to monitor the situation, but it soon became clear it was time to leave.

I arrived back in New York after passing a mandatory health screening in Italy. Since then, I’ve been under a 14-day quarantine at home as per the CDC protocol. I feel fine—and somewhat safer—in my seclusion, considering all that is now happening in the U.S.

Fortunately, I have a home studio with a private bath and a place to sleep. This isolates me from my family. I keep busy, and the time passes quickly. This has been helped by one essential rule: NO NEWS UNTIL NOON.

Between 7 a.m. and noon, I take my temperature, wash my hands, down some vitamins, turn on some music, exercise, shower, have a coffee and a biscotti. Then I wash my hands, draw, paint, read, study Italian, play guitar and wash my hands. This quiet time is the emotional and psychological armor I don each day to face the new world.

Life in New York, “AC.”

#COVID19 #CoviDiaries #KenCarbone #Rome