I think it would be a bit strange not to mention the current situation we are all in, maybe just to put a marker or time stamp here. Yes, let’s talk lockdown, while we are all still in. Maybe it was a novel experience to start with, but as the situation prolonged and became more serious, it has definitely lost its adventurous lustre.
First off, its never nice to feel vulnerable. The first time I went to the supermarket I felt as if I was in a movie. It was not a comedy or musical, think more ominous. I’ve never needed to be so conscious of myself, my hands, my proximity to others and what I’m actually buying. Soon economic factors became just as scary as the virus itself. We’ve really had to reevaluate what our priorities in life are.
Getting back to working on my art and generating some form of income has been tougher than I imagined. I used to be so private about my creative process and about what I do, but slowing down and using social media more during this time has made me realise how much more of an essential tool it has become. I can’t be shy or private anymore, not if I need to make a living from being creative. There are some adverse effects though from having to self-promote and “be out there”. Theres that lovely pressure to perform. To create a decent amount of content and look shiny and cute whilst doing it. On top of that, you need to (at the very least) stay current, but really, you need to be trendy or be creating trends. The irony, but in this disinfected world, you need to be viral.
All of these factors are unfortunately unavoidable. At first I thought I was mourning the loss of my creative process. I thought I was getting old and starting to feel all “back in the good old days”. But then I realised that the good old days were also not that kind to the creative world. You had to hustle hard and even then it turned into a nasty game of contacts and ‘who do you know’. For some very talented people there was no hope or chance. At least on all our individual islands we are still able to send smoke signals. AND if nothing else, this lockdown has proven to us that we have taken the arts and what it means to humanity for granted. We need more than just technology for connection. We need to see, feel, hear, touch and experience the arts in person. It feeds our souls. Being able to create is what makes us special and what inspires us.