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COVID-19 Hobbies

COVID-19 Hobbies

Due to the extensive amount of time we have been forced to spend at home, the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged us to pick up hobbies we may have been wanting to try but could never previously pursue. Loyola Marymount University (LMU) students Austin Reyes, Isabella Dropsy, and Katarina Compean (the author of the article) have all discovered their newfound hobbies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austin Reyes, 23, moved to his parents home located in Irvine, California for the majority of the pandemic. Reyes says he has always had a great interest in architecture and home design but never had the chance to have a real hands-on experience with both interests due to a busy school and internship schedule. During the pandemic, Reyes noticed that some parts of his childhood house were rundown. He took the initiative to start renovating his parents’ home as a “thank you gift”for letting him live there for most of the pandemic. Reyes claims that his COVID-19 restoration hobby has sparked a greater interest for him in pursuing home design as a career.

Additionally, “I have always had an eye for design. My friends and even my parents have even come to me throughout the years asking for my opinion on style choices within their homes. This is an interest of mine that always has been lingering in the back of my head and to be honest Covid gave me the push I needed that I really would have never given myself,” said Reyes.

Reyes has initiated the first step toward having his own home design brand named Reyes Designs.

Image 1: Austin Reyes creates a potential logo for his home designs. “I feel like most people create the brand then the logo. In my case, I created the logo first. This is where it all started and it was super random. I sketched this design over and over on my iPad during the Covid lockdown and realized I could maybe start renovating my childhood home since I had so much free time and it could be a useful skill,” said Reyes.
Image 2: Austin Reyes uses his previous knowledge from his home design and architecture internships to sketch out a plan to renovate his parents staircase. “I measured out the  current staircase I had and then used the dimensions to brainstorm the remodel that I had in mind,” said Reyes.
Image 3: Austin Reyes renovated the windows above the sink in the laundry room. “ I did not have a picture of the previous product but I repainted the windows white and installed the blinds,” Reyes says.
Image 4: Austin Reyes began sketching home ideas with his iPad. This is Reyes’ modern farmhouse sketch he drew. “I had no prior experience with sketching homes. I have always been somewhat good at drawing but never imagined I would be able to draw this,” Reyes said.
Image 5: This is another one of Austin Reyes home sketches and it is modeled after a traditional Santa Barbara style home.
Image 6: This is a picture of Austin Reyes’ remodel in progress of his childhood living room. “I decided after I remodeled nearly half  the house I would take up the biggest project which was the living room. I went to Home Depot and bought all the appliances and  paint I needed to insert new decorative molding and repaint the walls. This project took about three to four weeks and I worked on it everyday,” said Reyes.
Image 7: Finished product of Austin Reyes’ childhood living room remodel.

Isabella Dropsy, 22, also moved home from Los Angeles to Newport Beach, California during the extent of the pandemic. Dropsy is a senior graphic design major at LMU and has always had a passion for the arts, specifically painting and fashion. When Dropsy was a sophomore at LMU she began sketching and drawing graphic designs for clothing but never took it to the next level. When the pandemic hit, Dropsy found her old sewing machine and began sketching and sewing her new clothing brand she titled Dropsy. 

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“I kind of already knew that  creating was my purpose in life. It was just a matter of what am I going to create that represents me and my passion the most. Whether it was a matter of painting, drawing, creating clothes or  designing for brands I feel I was put on this earth to create and my  brand and Dropsy is the best representation of my  passion for art and fashion so far,”says Dropsy. Dropsy, 21 launched her clothing brand in summer 2021 and it is now available for purchase on her website. She says,“Dropsy clothing brand is something literally anyone can wear. It’s a gender neutral clothing line of simple graphic t-shirts that fit every body size. The designs on the shirt are authentically designed by me and I am very proud of my work to see where it takes me.”

Image 1: Isabella Dropsy sews her first Dropsy t-shirt in her house in Newport Beach California. “ I designed and ordered these custom made Dropsy tags for my graphic t-shirts,” said Dropsy.
Image 2: Isabella Dropsy sews her clothing line in her childhood home. “ It took many hours here for me to sew  the clothes and make my brand. Lots of trial and  error and frustrating moments that were definitely crucial learning lessons in the end,” said Dropsy.
Image 3: Isabella Dropsy assembles her finished clothing line for a photo shoot. “I am very proud of my final product. COVID really gave me the time to create this and I am super grateful  that all my family and friends encouraged me through the journey of making this line,” said Dropsy.

COVID-19 has given me the chance to explore my passion for cooking. I have always loved cooking and have shown great interest in it. However, before COVID-19 my rigorous school schedule, along with my part time jobs, did not not allow much time for cooking. COVID-19 Fast forward to now, I am officially moving to New York City to attend culinary school this upcoming Spring! Without the pandemic, I am not sure that I would have pursued culinary arts as a career. The pandemic gave me the time I needed to strengthen my skills in the kitchen and made me realize that cooking was the career path I wanted to pursue.

Image 1: I slow roasted candy beets and added fried garlic and basil.
Image 2: Homemade bread made during the thick of COVID-19 last Christmas.
Image 3: This is homemade tomato soup with a side of bacon grilled cheese on sourdough bread inspired by the vine ripe tomatoes I gathered from the farmers market.
Image  4: Strawberry galette with pistachio crust before it was baked in the oven.
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