CPP students get creative at home and generate eccentric projects

In light of the quarantine and social distancing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted off-campus virtual instruction as of March 18, Cal Poly Pomona students are finding new ways to cope with the situation and keep busy with their newfound free time at home. From spending more time with old hobbies, exploring new ones or learning new skills and tricks, students are using different ways of creating and expressing themselves in modes that they didn’t have time for before. Photos are courtesy of each individual student.

Zareen Ahmed | Third-year mechanical engineering student
Zareen Ahmed | Third-year mechanical engineering student

“I didn’t make anything physical, but I did start a henna tattoo account (@zareens.mehndi on Instagram). Henna is usually done in my culture prior to celebrations, but finding someone to do my henna in America wasn’t always the easiest thing to do; we would have to drive all the way to the Orange County or Los Angeles area, so I decided to learn myself and have been practicing ever since. I’ve just been tattooing on my hand throughout quarantining … (and) recently decided to start an (Instagram) account so I could post the designs I’ve done, and I’m hoping that maybe after quarantine, this could turn into a little side gig for me. 

“I just bought a henna tube and started practicing random designs on my arms. I never really painted or drew, and I guess I would always have to do my henna for occasions, so much that it became something I enjoyed and was comfortable doing. I am also oddly better at doing henna than I am at drawing or painting I guess, even though looking at it, it should seem harder. I made it to 100 followers, and it was like the highlight of my week.”

Peter Lupercio | First-year mechanical engineering student

“I made a couple (of custom shoes) …. Honestly I was bored, and I like shoes, so I’m trying to get better at customizing them, and hopefully I’ll start selling them in the future. So far, I’ve only done Air Force 1’s and Vans. The first ones are ‘Rick and Morty’-themed because (it’s) one of my favorite shows, and the second one was a request from someone, and that’s what she wanted. I just use an airbrush, paint brushes and Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint.”

Jennifer Edwards | First-year mechanical engineering student

“I have been making a plague doctor mask during the quarantine. Once spring break arrived, I found that I had nothing to do, so I started looking up crafts that I could do with stuff I had at home since most craft stores are closed. I was joking around with some friends from high school and they suggested that I should dress up as a plague doctor for April Fools’ Day. 

“I had EVA foam, various black fabrics left over from Halloween costumes, and a pair of steampunk goggles I could take the lenses from. I found the idea funny in an ironic sense because of everyone being quarantined. I find that finding any sort of humor in a bad situation is a good way to keep myself from being sad about it. I usually can’t find the time to (make things like this), but since I can’t go outside, and I got bored of my video games, I felt the urge to get crafty!”

Kevin Jackson | Fourth-year computer engineering student

“I’m a YouTuber and I have been making videos for over six years, even recording some around campus. One of my viewers came up to me a few months ago and suggested that I take my channel in a different direction, making more informative videos. In creating this new series, I noticed that a lot of my peers listened to podcasts. As the weeks went on, coronavirus hit and affected all aspects of our lives. Since this was a topic on everyone’s mind, and people were consuming more entertainment, I decided to launch … ‘It’s Corona Time’ (anchor.fm/itscoronatime). 

“The quarantine motivated me to narrow down an idea and start the podcast.  On the show, I talk with various guests, either peers, friends or fellow YouTubers about their personal journeys in life and take a look at the current cultural and societal climate which right now is the coronavirus.”

Photos and quotes compiled by staff writer Amber Li.

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