It’s no secret that the COVID-19 novel coronavirus has had a significant impact on virtually everyone’s lives. It also means that many people have had to either stop working or change how they work and interact with their clients. Here are 7 ways to stay creative during Covid-19!
Social distancing and lockdown restrictions are now the new “norm” for many folks across the world. As someone freelancing in a creative role, you’ll have likely got impacted by such changes to your everyday working life.
Considering all the changes and adjustments you’ve had to make to continue earning a living, there’s one question you want to answer. How can you still be creative in such worrying times? After all, your health and those of others around you are a significant concern.
The good news is that people are generally adaptive to changing situations and environments. Even more if you have a healthy mind and body! And that means you can evolve with what’s going on around you to keep being creative. This previous post on how to pitch and sell your services is a good way to start!
Here are some of the best ways you can still be creative during COVID-19 and even help your team avoid crashing into a creativity brick wall:
1. Pay attention to social media influencers
When it comes to gaining creative inspiration for your projects, you’ll likely check out what other people are doing. Following specific social media influencers and paying attention to what they do is a sure-fire way to keep your creative spark alive.
For example, let’s assume that you are a freelance graphic designer. Countless well-known social media influencers post up samples of their graphic design work. Plus, some of those people may even help set future design trends.
The purpose of the exercise isn’t to merely copy what they do and apply their design principles to your work verbatim! What you’re doing is looking at their work and using it to inspire and create your ideas and concepts.
You likely already use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram regularly. So, it’s just a case of following the top creative influencers on those platforms and paying close attention to what they showcase.
2. Collaborate with other creatives over video
During your freelancing career, there will often be times when you need to collaborate with other creatives to complete projects for your clients, especially if you’re a freelancer who regularly offers your services to a design house.
As you can appreciate, working together in an office environment isn’t something many people feel comfortable doing at the moment. In some cases, it might not be possible anyway due to logistical reasons.
Thankfully, various video conferencing software can bring you together with other creatives – even if you’re all working from home. It’s a great way to brainstorm ideas, discuss concepts, find solutions to problems, and, of course, keep in touch with each other.
There are a plethora of video conferencing solutions that you and your fellow creatives can all use. What’s more, those solutions are quite straightforward to arrange and use. If you use a laptop for your work, you won’t even need to invest in a webcam as it’ll have a built-in one.
3. Learn a new skill related to your work
Whether you’ve got more time on your hands than usual or not, you should feed your mind by learning something new. Even creative freelancers that are gurus in their fields haven’t mastered all the skills related to their work.
You might not realize it, but expanding your knowledge in that way can help you be more creative with your everyday work. It’s like how graphic designers could feel more creative by learning about CAD, or how writers feel more inspired by reading new books.
Aside from keeping your creativity going, learning new skills is good for your mental health and can even lessen the risk of dementia in later life. Plus, it’s something that will also impress your colleagues, friends, and family!
4. Work with influential bloggers
It’s no secret that there are millions of blogs online these days. Many of those blogs have a vast following, and so are very influential. Another way to stay creative is by working with some relevant influential bloggers.
There are a variety of ways that you can work with those bloggers. Here are some examples:
Offer your creative services to influential people
Arguably the best way to work with influential bloggers is by offering your creative services to them. Doing so achieves two things. First of all, you gain new clients and so you end up with new income sources for your business.
And secondly, you can use their blogs as live examples to showcase your work to other prospective clients. Offering your creative services to influential bloggers is undoubtedly a win-win situation!
Collaborate on a new project with them
Blog owners typically won’t possess all the skills needed to create impressive content. They will likely have great ideas for blog content and might even possess an excellent command of the English language.
But, many bloggers won’t be experts or highly-skilled in things like graphic design, back-end programming, and even SEO (search engine optimization). Keeping those thoughts in mind, you could work with some influential bloggers and lend your services to them.
Collaborating on a new project is a brilliant way to stay creative, potentially earn some extra money, and promote your brand on a third-party website.
5. Don’t dream it’s over
One of the big problems with COVID-19 and being a freelancer is that some creatives feel that their dream of making a continuous, comfortable living doing what they do best is over. Some may even assume that their lucrative contracts might turn into nothing.
If you find that you’ve got periods of downtime, use that time to reflect and contemplate. Believe it or not, some quiet time will do your creativity a world of good. Your brain will make new neural connections and help relight the spark of creativity in your mind!
It’s good to allow yourself time to daydream, listen to some music, or just listen to your inner voice and do something that makes you happy. The time spent reflecting and contemplating will almost certainly give you new ideas to inspire you and keep yourself work-busy.
6. Take inspiration from your previous work
Let’s face it: many creatives want to find ways to better themselves. For instance, they might wish to enhance their existing skills or learn new ones. The thing is, even if you improved existing skills or learned new ones, that doesn’t automatically improve your creativity.
Did you know that one way to give fuel to your creative mind is the simple act of looking back at your past work? Most creatives will reach a stage in their work or career where they feel like they’ve run out of inspiration.
As you can appreciate, having a lack of inspiration is never a good thing when you’re working as a freelancer in a creative industry! That’s why it makes sense to spare some time out of your day to look back at your previous work.
Doing so might give you some ideas for future projects. But, the main reason for looking back at your completed work is to help you remember what inspired you to come up with the concepts used in them.
It’ll jog your memory and help you think back to the thought processes you used to gain inspiration in the past. You can then adopt those thought processes into existing and future projects, keeping your mind creative and bursting with fantastic ideas.
7. Go outside for a walk each day
Last but not least, regular exercise is good for your creative mind. Sure, keeping fit and healthy lowers the risk of developing diseases and ending up with a poor immune system. The thing is, going for a walk every day is also beneficial for creativity purposes.
According to a 2014 study by Stanford University, researchers determined that walking increased a person’s creative output by as much as 60%! Aerobic exercises like walking also generally boost a person’s cognitive function.
Walking is something most people can do and it doesn’t cost anything. What’s more, you might also come across things on your travel that can help spark ideas and concepts related to your existing projects.
You may not realize it but a lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes in your body. Walking exercises help to fuel creativity, clear your mind of negative thoughts, and even focus on finding solutions to specific problems in your work.
Finally, walking outside means you can take in some fresh air rather than sitting at your desk or workstation. You don’t even have to walk for very long; a simple ten-minute walk around the block will suffice.
Thank you for reading my 7 ways to stay creative during Covid-19 and stay safe out there!