At the start of the pandemic, there seemed to be no shortage of creative enthusiasm. Remember all the rainbows and banana bread? But now, I just keep hearing the same thing. That passion to be creative we all had has gone. We’ve stopped beginning new projects and ran out of oomph to complete the ones we’d already started. Essentially, we are suffering from pandemic induced creative-block.
But it is hardly surprising. The last year has seen us starved of inspiration. We have been looking at the same four walls, the same computer screens and walking along the same paths for our daily exercise.
Creativity thrives on new connections, making links between new stuff you see, do and experience with the stuff you have already seen and done. Mix everything up and you create something entirely different. But we haven’t been seeing, doing or experiencing anything new, so we are stuck working with the same old ideas.
Lockdowns and restrictions have deprived us of fresh inspiration. Without this, our enthusiasm and eagerness to create has been lost. So It’s no wonder we are all feeling like our creative mojo has abandoned us. And we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up about it. There’s been a lot going on, but at the same time, nothing at all.
So although I’m giving you a permission slip to go easy on yourself in the creativity department, here are three things you can do (even in a pandemic) to find some of your creative enthusiasm.
Top Tip 1 – Change up your route
Going for a daily walk has been a lifeline to me this last year. I started off going my local park, as I normally would. But I was getting bored of seeing the same things every day. So I branched out to the roads surrounding the park. Then I opened up Google maps and started looking at other routes I could take.
Just being somewhere I haven’t been before, even if it was only 10mins from my house, felt invigorating! If you live in an urban or suburban area, you’ll be surprised at what you can find. I discovered some beautiful houses, a tennis centre and some really cool street art that I didn’t know existed. If you are in a village or rural area, try using Footpaths Map to find public footpaths. Yes, you might find countryside views, but also more unexpected things. Dilapidated old buildings, a horse wearing a zebra coat and even farm vending machines (I found all these things on a walk from my parents house in Derbyshire where I stayed during the 1st lockdown!)
I hope it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway – please consider your own safety when doing this and don’t go anywhere you feel uncomfortable.
Top Tip 2 – Go on a Photowalk.
A photowalk is just going on a walk with the express intention of finding interesting things to photograph. If you’re thinking there isn’t anything vaguely interesting near you worth taking a picture of, look for the small details. Zoom in on the little things and go more abstract!
Try to spot different textures, or find a specific colour or shapes. It diesn’t matter if you live in a city, town or village, there will always be something to photograph when you look.
You can just use your phone camera, but sometimes it can help to use a proper camera, if you have one. It gets you into a different state of mind and prevents any phone-based distractions.
Don’t worry about the images you take being “Instagram-worthy”, you don’t have to share them with anyone! But you might just be surprised by the results.
Top Tip 3 – Learn a new craft skill.
We might not be able to go to craft workshops, but there are lots of ways you can learn something new at home. You can read a blog post, follow a YouTube tutorial or buy a craft kit (such as my macrame kits, hint hint).
If learning a totally new craft seems daunting, go for something that is similar, but different! By this, I mean find some similarity in the tools, techniques or materials used.
So if cross-stitch is your thing, try bead weaving as it also uses a needle and thread so will feel familiar. Love embroidery? How about up scaling and trying punch needle. If you normally do yarn-based crafts like knitting or crochet, try other fibre crafts like macramé or weaving instead!
Obviously, you might fancy going for a radically new craft, in which case, go for it and I applaud your enthusiasm!
These are three things that keep my creativity ticking over, not only throughout this pandemic, but in general. Kick-starting you creative enthusiasm doesn’t have to be some epic undertaking, it can be as simple as going for walk somewhere new.