CREATIVITY IN LOCKDOWN
I think my creativity and problem solving skills have flourished during lockdown!
Now, before you dismiss me as a smug tw@t and don’t read any further, I need to set the scene a little bit.
I want to tell you first about all the projects that I have started but have not quite made it…
First up there’s the watercolour paints, the lovely sketch book with thick, textured paper and a million different types pencils.. Still languishing in their Amazon packaging. Along with that adult colouring book I also thought I’d have completed by now.
Or, there’s my ambitious project to learn how to macramé, make plant holders (a la Pinterest) and hang them from a piece of foraged driftwood across my kitchen window. I’ve made myself two plant holders, my dad foraged for the driftwood and I asked my friends on Instagram to vote for their favourite driftwood ‘curtain pole’ and that’s as far as I’ve got…
Jigsaw puzzles have been more successful… So successful in fact that my mum is sending me the puzzles in plastic bags without the boxes so I don’t actually know what picture I’m making, that’s certainly made it more difficult and tested my problem solving skills. Am I making a harbour scene or a sweetshop?!
A lot of lockdown has been challenging of course, the isolation, loneliness, what time it’s acceptable to start drinking wine, but all these challenges have also brought more creative ways of trying to solve them.
This isn’t just in personal ways, it’s at work too. With us all working remotely, the challenge initially was the overwhelming number of ways of keeping in touch… Did I agree to do that via email, whatsapp on Teams or was it Zoom or just over the phone?!
A few of my examples where we had to really think outside the box… A client needed a bank of new content shooting during lockdown – so we mobilised a videographer to shoot in a kitchen in an empty house using props from his own home. We needed to source more video content for another client – so we spoke to animators rather than shooting live footage to get the message across in a creative way.
We’ve changed strategies for clients within 24 hours to react at the start of lockdown when all clients landed in panic mode immediately and what’s more we’ve actually pitched for and won a client during this time!
We’ve also worked with influencers across the board to create authentic content for clients’ social media channels. There’s been a lot in the press to say that influencers aren’t getting the same level of work as previously, but using them to create content is a natural solution to turn to at the moment, as discussed in PR Week today.
A lot of this lockdown experience has been around problem solving and being creative, although not in the traditional sense I thought originally it would be with my paints and 1970s crafts.
I think I’ve had more head space and time to think more creatively for clients, offering more new ideas and opportunities. I’m not totally sure where this extra time has come from, it’s certainly not the hour I’ve saved everyday from not commuting into the office. It’s come from much more than that. I think having been forced to slow down in every single aspect of my life it’s given my brain time to reset and indulge my creative side even more, rather than rushing from the office to the gym to the pub!
If there’s one positive I’d like to take from this mad, crazy, strange and often depressing time it’s that I need to make time for creativity as it enriches all areas of my life.
Plus, I’ve got so many half finished projects I need to get on with that I don’t have any choice but to make the time!
My top tips for boosting creativity
Just get started! Once I had one idea, so many more started flowing. Creativity seems to breed creativity
Be brave. Don’t doubt yourself, if something doesn’t work, try another angle or another way of working, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected
Share your ideas and thoughts, other people will have their own suggestions which could spark off even more inspiration
Start small , don’t try and do everything at once but focus on different elements of the problem you want to solve or the project you want to start
Allow time to slow down and the ideas will flow. That’s my biggest learning of this lockdown and one I really want to try and continue with
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