This is a hard time for us. We’re scared, worried, anxious, sad or overwhelmed with grief. We wait for the light at the end of this without knowing when it will come. Every day we hope for good news and long for certainty. We do our best to adjust, adapt and stay optimistic. Some days are better than others.
The worst thing that can happen is we stop creating. However, I’ve been struggling myself to keep up the fight daily and I’ve heard others have too. I know there’s a sentiment that we should take it easy on ourselves, we shouldn’t expect ourselves to create right now. This is from the point of view that creating is a SHOULD. I don’t think it should ever be a should.
Creating is an act of self-care and is necessary for health. When we don’t create consistently it’s like not eating or not bathing. If you didn’t eat anything for days your physical body would get very weak and more susceptible to disease. The same thing happens when we don’t create for days or weeks, except it’s our minds and souls health that suffers. Both are equally important as our physical health and in fact is known to even impact our physical health.
So I send this letter not to be preachy or lay a should on you, but because I care about all of us and I want us to be healthy so we can withstand the emotional and mental turmoil we may be experiencing right now. So don’t create because you SHOULD and then you feel guilty if you don’t. Create like you’re taking a warm bubble bath or having a glass of water or eating a yummy nourishing dinner.
Here are 8 Ways to Keep Creating During Covid
1. Try something totally playful and unexpected. This could be just doing something abstract. Coloring with crayons or even sculpting something. It doesn’t have to be a finished painting.
2. Commit to one TINY thing a day, like drawing a coffee cup, painting a single grape, toning a canvas, setting up a still life, doing a watercolor of an apple. We don’t have to do big things. Little things will feed us right now.
3. Learn something new! If you’re use to painting still life, switch to landscape or sunsets right now or vice versa. Find new lessons to energize your learning.
4. Switch to a different medium. Maybe you can’t even paint in oils right now for some reason. Switch to gouache, watercolor, pastel or charcoal. Excuses are easy, adaptation is creative.
5. Get Nostalgic. Nostalgia is happening for a lot of us right now. We’re thinking about past good times or hard times in our lives. Break out the photo album and paint that trip to Paris or that photo of your family home or Grandma.
6. Find a way that your paintings can benefit someone else right now. It could be that you do an online auction. Yes, we can still sell paintings and schedule pickups for delivery. Maybe you offer a sale so that people can uplift their environments right now. Maybe you send donated work to a nursing home who’s cut off right now. Maybe you give part of the proceeds to be donated to help the healthcare workers.
7. Create with others. What? How? Social distancing doesn’t have to mean we don’t do anything together. You can set up a virtual paint out via Facetime or Zoom. Create something with those in your household. Teach them how to paint or create something non-painting related. You can make flower arrangements, redesign the living room, make a decorative wall hanging together, etc.
8. Treat Yourself! Order something new, or something you’ve always wanted to paint. Yes we can still order things and it’s not irresponsible. In fact it helps people keep their jobs and helps the economy right now. The flowers in the painting at the top were ordered from Fifty Flowers who is collaborating with California flower farms that are struggling.
Whatever you decide, make it fun. See ways around the obstacles- this is what can make this time more tolerable and I dare say joyful.
P.S. My newest painting, Hope Springs Eternal is the painting of the week and is 20% OFF. A no-interest payment plan is also available.
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If you’re looking to learn something new in painting, I’m offering 40% off on my Plein Air Series downloads. Use Coupon Code 40off.
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The SALE expires on Sunday, April 19th for all offers.