Staying creative while on lockdown might be more of a challenge than one initially imagines.
Repetitive behaviour seems to be overtaking your daily life, you might find yourself in a creative blockade, or even depressed from seeing all those ‘I am so productive’ Instagram posts. Right now, it is important to take a step back and a deep breath.
You’re not the only one feeling this way and you do not have to be productive every day. Don’t feel ashamed of doing nothing. However, if you get to a point where you feel like you want to be creative but are unsure of how to approach it, we are here to show you some simple ways to make you feel a little more inspired.
FOCUS ON THE PROCESS
First of all, it is important that you focus on the process rather than the outcome. Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean working towards a specific finish.
We always aim to achieve something with our work, and it’s not easy to shake off that feeling. This is especially hard when you need to reach an outcome as part of your job. I personally found myself in that exact position. I had so many things to do, finding creative alternatives for the launch, finishing University, while at the same time staying safe. I ended up putting too much pressure on myself and burned out very quickly. I was so focused on coming up with end goals that I completely ignored the lack of creativity.
TRY TO RELAX
This is easier said than done but stress can be a big killer of creativity. Everyone is a little different when it comes to stress relief, and you might have to test a few directions before you find what does the trick for you. No matter how much you need to do, take some time to relax your mind and body. You will see that the quality of the work you produce is suddenly much better.
When panic hits me and I seem to lose my cool, I find the best way to relax is to go for a walk. Even if it’s just 15 minutes long, try to focus on the environment rather than on what’s going on in your life at that particular moment. Try and observe what is around you, how it might connect to a memory, or how it has changed since you last saw it. It’s almost a form of meditation, guiding your thoughts in a new and relaxing direction. This helps me calm my nerves so I can re-assess the situation, and it might work for you too.
SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY
Now that you focused on the process and relaxed in mind and body, it’s time to spark your creativity. Think out of the box here, if you’re a stylist, don’t just think about clothing. If you’re an illustrator, don’t just think about drawing. But don’t worry, if you can’t really think of anything right now, we have prepared some examples of what you could be doing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY CREATIVE
While walking through the park a few weeks back, I stopped at some little daisies and remembered how I cherished those flowers as a child. I would make necklaces, hairbands and rings from them. I would press them and stick them on my wall. I would experiment with them, try to dye them, find out whether he loved me or not, the possibilities seemed endless.
I picked some up and took them home with me, to then press them and see what happens. This is how my love for flower pressing was reborn. The process of picking flowers, pressing them, and then carefully arranging them on a piece of paper is very meditative and inspiring. You could also scan the flowers and create digital content, you can use the flowers as models and draw them, you could put them in a book with a description to learn about them. Flower Pressing really helped me find my way back into creating.
Read // We often forget that reading is a primary source of creative thinking. Reading a book is not just a fun activity, but might actually help your creative flow and relax you at the same time.
Go Through Your Archive // A pile of old magazines, your artwork from University, family relics. Whatever your archive might look like, take some time and have a look through it. Our creative approach constantly changes, and things that did not inspire you before might do now.
Go to a Virtual Exhibition // Something that has been quite enriching during this time is the fact that galleries and museums have put their exhibitions online as virtual tours. And most of them are free too. You can literally be cuddled up in bed with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine maybe?) and ‘walk’ through an exhibition. Learn a new skill // Not everyone has a subscription for professional learning pages like LinkedIn Learning, but that should not stop you: we live in the time and age where YouTube can deliver us almost anything we want. Maybe there’s something you always wanted to master? Or you might want to refresh your knowledge on a skill you already have? You can do as little as 15 minutes per day, and still see quite quickly how motivating and exciting it feels to learn a new creative skill.
Create a Collage // Many might have done the mandatory spring clean already, but if you still have some material lying around that you do not need anymore, why not use it to create something new? There doesn’t have to be a theme or a reason, just try and see how different patterns, fabrics, colours, structures work together.
Write or Draw // Write in any form. Write a journal. Write about emotions. Write about your dreams. Write a little story. Write about a painting. Write a better ending for the book you just read. Even if you just make notes about things you notice, words you particularly like, or a tweet that made you laugh. Or if you prefer drawing, you can express yourself through similar ways. It is so important to put down all those little things; they might lead to a thought process, give you an idea or help you visualise one.
Always remind yourself that you can be creative at any level. We need to feed our brain with ideas, even if they seem childish or silly. Something might grow from them, and even if it doesn’t, it is creatively enriching and will get you somewhere.
How are you staying creative? Do you have any tips for our community? Send as an image or a message on Instagram and we will make sure to share them!
article//Edited by Chloe Payne