Lock-down and being an artist

With the lockdown now well established I’ve been looking at how I’m coping with events.

In short, it’s not too much of a problem for me. I’ve never been the one to go out a lot or travel widely, I like being home and working on projects that matter to me.

So if anything these days at home have allowed me to explore more of what I want todo.

Often I don’t have the time to do all that I want, art, writing, reading, and more, because outside of work I don’t have the time.

Now all those interests are getting the attention I have longed to give them.

For me its some ways a welcome problem. Despite the uncertainties about what will be like after the lockdown has lifted.

One thing I am learning during this time is to better self motivate, to get my head down and do some work. It’s a skill very important to freelancers and the self-employed. No-one is looking over your shoulder telling you what to do.

So it up to the artist, writer motivate themselves. To set aside time and create a practice, they can stick too.

I’m quite relaxed during this time because I have all this extra time so I’m taking it easy. But I’m also aware that it won’t last.

I’ve learned that my motivation turns up when I turn up to create.

That’s half the struggle or more perhaps, as Woody Allen pointed out, ‘80% of success is showing up.’ To make a habit of putting on your artists or writers ‘hat’ and saying to myself, ‘now I’m here to create’, putting aside the other worries of life, then starting.

The more I turn up the more I want to turn up, that’s what motivation does. Once my head gets caught into a piece of writing or art, I don’t want to let go.

It’s also not been easy to share my work, because it asking for criticism, and feedback which may not be generous or supportive. A step I often am too afraid to take, and I often avoid.

I’ve had to learn to be brave and put my work out into the world and share more.

It was a goal this year to this and with the lockdown, I have the opportunity and time to work on this skill, which is important for any artist.

My hangup is often been worry over if my art is good enough to share. I still have a lot to learn and my work is still not at a standard I one day hope to create. So fear stops me from uploading my work.

But I’m doing better and better at this as time grows by. It’s accepting that work doesn’t have to be perfect or even finished to be worth sharing.

Another lesson is to look at my inspirations more often, to remind myself of the art I like and my desire to create my own.

So I’m looking at my favourite art more and some of the art I’ve created.

To remember the passion and desire it conjures within. Such desire is the impetus for me to pick up a brush or sit at my laptop and create something.

I have discovered a sort of rhythm to the day and that’s also a part of making creativity sustainable.

All this time has allowed me to indulge in my desire to express myself. But I don’t overwork, I have found something closer to a daily workflow I can work with to create, share, practice, experiment and learn.

It’s important to create some structure to life and art so that all the work gets done and we don’t fade into lethargy and apathy. But neither struggle so hard we grow to despise the work and neglect the other parts of our life, like health, family, friends and just being alive.

In summary, this lockdown is then forcing me to confront the problems I expect to face when I become self-employed. A taster of what it will be like.

I do hope the crisis will subside, what sort of world will be left for artists afterwards I don’t know. But whilst it’s here I have successfully adapted to being at home so much. I’m more relaxed, more work is getting done, I’ve found a flow to the days.

I’ve found the time to work on the skills I know I will need when I become a professional artist. So for me, this lockdown has been a lesson on my artistic and professional growth.

Photo by form PxHere

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