Maintaining creative momentum can be difficult sometimes, but especially so during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve experienced this year. Despite this, there are still many sources of inspiration out there for creatives. Here’s how to find yours.
There are some understandable limitations to creating during a pandemic. Although we’re now in Level 1 of the nationwide lockdown, there are still significant restrictions that’ve impacted the tools we can make use of as creatives. Despite this, creativity has no limits and limitations in the material world only serve to exercise our creative muscles. Finding alternative ways to bring a message across during a crisis is a creative process in itself.
When a limitation de-motivates you, think about the many great works of art and inventions that’ve been created during times of crisis. Let these examples of brilliant artworks, born out of crisis, inspire you.
The stress brought about by the COVID-19 crisis and its subsequent economic and social impacts is undeniable. However small or large your losses this year have been, it’s important to validate your feelings instead of suppressing them.
To combat the effects of this stress on your creativity, try to create space in your mind. There are various mindfulness, breathing exercises and types of meditation which you can practice daily in order to quiet the chatter in your mind, and tap into your creative self. If you’re lacking focus in your work, check out this article on how to get into work mode by getting into your zone.
As creatives, we can sometimes use our work as a distraction- keeping ourselves as busy as possible, to avoid the worries of the outside world. The problem with this is that we can become robotic in our creative approach- repeating the same patterns we know to be effective, without coming up with anything truly novel.
Recognising the patterns you go into, and whether they’re helping or hindering your creative process, is essential in building better habits. Perhaps, the approach you were using before the pandemic worked well, but it’s now no longer as effective. Don’t be afraid to break up your routine and do things differently.
2020 has truly been the year of isolation, in more ways than one. Due to the major changes to our way of life, it’s no wonder many of us feel disconnected from others at the moment.
The good news is that we do have the opportunity to connect with others, on a more sincere level than ever before. Through connecting with our own experiences, and opening ourselves to hearing the stories of others, we can show empathy and understanding to our audience. The chance to make someone smile, feel understood and supported during difficult times is a powerful driving force behind creativity.
In difficult times, it’s not uncommon for us to lose some confidence in our creative abilities. We may feel like we’re not performing at our best- especially if our main focus is simply to survive. Remember that your creativity is a gift that you get to share with others, and that even on your off days you’re still talented. You’re human, and you’re allowed to have dips in your creativity- especially during difficult times. Remember that broadening your knowledge by up-skilling, taking an online course, etc is always a great way to boost your confidence as well.
If Henri Matisse was right in saying that “creativity takes courage”, then creativity during a crisis takes an extra dose of bravery and resilience. Beauty, art and expression make the world go ‘round, in the good times but even more so in the bad. Own your identity as a creative, and believe in your ability to produce amazing work during this time.