It’s strange times. The social distancing we are experiencing during the Coronavirus pandemic has many people dealing with high levels of anxiety and depression. I hate to admit it, but I’m in my comfort zone. I thrive at social distancing. Stay at home and read books by yourself? Yes. Always yes. But my heart goes out to people who are discomforted by the current state of our lives. Something that has been helping me is surrounding myself with creativity – but here’s the kicker: I haven’t painted since mid-February.
That’s right, you are reading the blog of an artist who hasn’t been in her studio in 8 weeks. My creativity ebbs and flows, and I don’t believe in forcing it. In the past when I have done that, it makes me spiteful towards painting because I’m not enjoying it. That’s not the kind of relationship I want to have with my practice. Instead of going to the studio and sitting at my easel, I am taking this time to soak in the work of other artists.
Every day I have been enjoying quiet mornings sipping tea while reading books. Reading the words of other creatives inspired me to sit down and let some words fall out of me too. I don’t always have time to read, so I’m soaking in as much as I can while staying at home!
Another go to? Podcasts. Yes, I am lumping podcasts in as an art form because they take a lot of creativity too. The fantastic thing about podcasts is that you feel like you are in on the conversation. I regularly find myself laughing out loud, and what better thing is there than laughter in these gloomy times? The conversations take away any loneliness because it feels like I’m getting human interaction. One of my favorite authors Brene Brown just launched a podcast, and it’s giving me life! Her honest vulnerability is a refreshing listen. It’s called Unlocking Us if you are interested!
A way you can work through roller coasters of emotions is with music. Feeling happy, dance it out. Need to cry, through on a heart wrencher and let the tears flow. It’s a powerful medium. Hop on to almost any musician’s social media and you’ll likely find special performances that they have filmed while in “Shelter In Home” as a way to give back to their fans.
When in doubt, throw on the TV. Movies and television shows can help you feel less alone and keep you entertained. You or someone you know definitely has log ins for streaming services, many of which are coming out with new shows every week! I've definitely gotten more than enough screen time, so I'm trying to limit it, but I'm not getting down on myself when I need to zone out for a few hours.
So, in essence, if you are a creative person who isn’t “feeling it” right now, you aren’t alone. Don’t feel guilty or feel like you are doing this quarantine wrong. You do not need to use this time to be productive. You don’t need to be building content or creating the newest masterpiece. Instead, consider this time as you are dedicating to supporting other artists.
I hope you and yours are staying safe. I wish you good health, both physical and mental. The storm will run out of rain eventually.
When I hit a roadblock and am feeling uninspired, I turn to the words of other creatives who have made a profession out of their work. I find that painting when I’m just not “feeling it” makes me resent the piece I’m working on, and that’s not very fair to the painting! I have read the following six art-related books in the past year and find them all to be motivating and inspiring. I hope you enjoy them too! I’ve written a brief summary of what I took away from each book, but please feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to hear more about them.
1. Manage Your Day to Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind