There's been a post circulating the internet that reads, "If you think artists are useless, try to spend your quarantine without music, books, poems, movies and paintings". With concerts and events cancelled, gallery doors shut and travel bans for the foreseeable future, the arts have really taken a hit as a result of the global pandemic.

Here are a few ways that you can support the arts, in Hong Kong and around the world, during this tricky time

Artists & Photographers

Now that you're spending more time at home, consider bringing your walls to life with some fresh new artwork. Many artists sell prints on their websites, or if you have the means, reach out to enquire about purchasing an original or commissioning something exclusive. And don't think that tattoo artists' skills are limited to skin - they're just as talented on any canvas. If there's a tattoo artist whose style you love, see if they're happy to sell their works as prints. 

The same goes for those talented photographers you follow on Instagram, whose work you can't get enough of - send them a message and offer to buy prints of your favourite photos taken by them. 

Another way to support artists and photographers is to purchase their books. Flip through them with a glass of wine in hand and you're basically enjoying an exhibition for one. Plus, can you really have too many coffee table books

See also: 20 Hong Kong Photographers On Instagram Who Capture The Soul Of The City

Museums & Galleries

Don't let travel bans stop you from wandering through New York's MoMa or perusing the works on display at Musée d’Orsay. As museums and galleries around the world have shut their doors due to Covid-19, many have introduced virtual tours and exhibitions so we can appreciate some of the world's most incredible collections from the comfort of our homes.   

Explore European, Asian and American artworks spanning the 8th to 21st centuries at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, or Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which houses 8,000 pieces that span 800 years in 80 galleries. 

Locally, M+ museum, which is due to open next year at the West Kowloon Cultural District, has launched a digital platform called M+ Stories containing a huge range of content covering art, architecture and design, including video interviews with artists, blogposts from curators and academics, and interactive quizzes. 

You can also check out our list of 10 Hong Kong Exhibitions To See In April 2020—Online Or In Person and our roundup of 8 Places In Hong Kong To Learn About Local Heritage And Culture

Buy More Books

Whether it's disappearing into some great fiction, lifting your mood with an inspiring biography or nourishing your soul with a quality self-help title, reading more books is a great way to take a break from the doom and gloom of today's news while supporting your favourite writers, poets and publishing houses. 

If you find yourself experimenting in the kitchen more these days, invest in cookbooks by your favourite chefs and restaurants (following Matt Abergel's recipes in Chicken and Charcoal definitely helped curb my hankering for Yardbird). 

Keen to stock your shelves? Check out our list of book stores that deliver to your home in Hong Kong

See also: The Best Book Stores In Hong Kong

Support the music industry - not just musicians

If a musician you like has their music on their own website, buy it direct. Are they selling any merchandise? If so, buy a few pieces for yourself and for friends. You can also check out independent stores like White Noise Records and Analog Dept

But beyond musicians, it's the hardworking people behind the scenes who spend months - sometimes years - planning and working tirelessly to bring us concerts and festivals who are really feeling the pinch. If you have bought a ticket, reach out to the organisers to find out if they're rescheduling the event before demanding a refund. 

Invest In Local Talent

Hong Kong is a hotbed of creative talent, and there's no better time to explore that than right now. Whether it's supporting local fashion and jewellery designers - including homegrown eco-friendly athleisure brands for all of those online workouts you've been doing from home - or employing local freelancers to do that website update or rebranding project you've been putting off. Engage them to help keep your content fresh throughout this time, and if you don't need them personally, be generous with introductions. 

See also: How Hong Kong’s F&B Community Is Supporting Each Other In The Time Of Coronavirus