23 Dec How artists approach lockdown
It’s been the strangest year hasn’t it?
Most of us, cooped up at home and pivoting our careers in order to find ways to work online. Every month has been a rollercoaster – worrying about finances, the future as well as missing family and our usual lives..
I hit a low at one point and realised that the isolation was having a negative effect on my mental health. Not feeling ‘part of something’ was making my day-to-day life feel bleak. I missed the energy I got from all the connections I normally have, whether meeting clients, singing or going out with friends.
So – I put out an email to my list to test out a new idea.
“Anyone feeling a bit isolated and want to join a new group?”
Within minutes, I had around 15 people saying ‘yes’. We began to meet every Monday in November to plan our week, set intentions and I shared exercises to help creatives develop tools to build confidence and clarity.
The impact of this simple ritual was unexpected. Instead of feeling the slight dread of Monday morning ‘back to work in my living room’ I felt a sense of joy. I loved hosting a group of creatives and envisioning how I wanted my week to be. I began to feel inspired again. Even though I was hosting, the group would suggest ideas and shared resources in the Facebook group I set up. Many were strangers at the start, but it began to feel like a friendship group.
We gathered this week and shared the creative projects we’d developed throughout lockdown. It was so touching.
One artist, Alice, had created a two-meter ruler and did a series of photographs depicting the stark impact of staying two metres away from friends or neighbours.
A jazz pianist and composer, Tom, performed one of his new songs from a musical that he’d always wanted to write but never had the time.
One photographer, Lisa, discovered a love of writing and shared a powerful poem, with pictures taken of her tiny lock down world. Each photo showed a tiny detail, a snail in her back yard, a tree or a door with peeling paint.
It was like an artistic interpretation of lockdown. Instead of the negativity of the news and fears, we witnessed the beauty and the joy of creative expression.
I cried and I was in awe of the sensitivity and beauty of all the projects that came out of this group and how enriching it was to experience what they shared.
I’m committed to continuing with my community in the new year. My plan is to make it a 12-week journey where we set goals and achieve them together.
The power of creative people coming together in a supportive way enables us to share what is most in our hearts.