Pandemic within a Pandemic (2021)
My image is based on my attendance of the session “Pandemic within a Pandemic: How the HIV Community has Adapted during COVID-19,” which focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the HIV+ community.
The session emphasized the massive re-allocation of resources from HIV+ services to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the isolation that those living with HIV have experienced throughout this pandemic. I approached this with the intent of creating an editorial illustration – something simple, quickly readable, and visually impactful.
Using these two themes I painted a single discarded medical glove – a now-common sight during the pandemic. The outside of the glove is a traditional blue color, with the inside being a different color representative of the HIV+ community. This medical glove signifies the singularity of medical institutions during this pandemic despite the needs of the HIV+ community. This singular glove surrounded by COVID-19 is emblematic of the isolation of community members.
Process: I started by writing a summary of what was presented during the session to ensure I had an understanding of the session. I then went over the notes I took and looked for recurring words and themes within them. The three words that appeared most in my notes were: fear, isolation, and capacity.
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Using these three words, as well as the title of the session, “Pandemic Within a Pandemic,” I explored what may be an apt visual metaphor for the pandemic and decided that a medical glove would work well for this. I then explored how to depict the “pandemic within the pandemic” as a hidden but visible thing. Using the interior of the glove with a different colour proved to be simple and effective.
Once I had my idea figured out, I moved from digital thumbnails to a physical canvas and paint, and worked the canvas until I felt I had a completed painting. This was then photographed and moved back into Photoshop, where I spent time creating more texture and contrast to further enhance my message.
About the Creator
Mike Hooves (they/them) – Calgary, Alberta
Mike Hooves is a prairie queer working in illustration, animation, and film in Calgary, Alberta. They received their bachelor of design from AUArts in 2016. Mike uses simple shapes, saturated colour, and gestural linework to create playful and engaging imagery that acknowledges queer aesthetic and signifiers.