It’s discussed in so many articles published during the pandemic – that if you don’t feel like being productive, don’t feel bad about it. The current situation is overwhelming enough, so don’t feel too pressured to pick up a new hobby or be artistically inclined. It’s sensible advice; however, people adapt differently. Some people meditate to free their minds of worries, while others feel the need to preoccupy themselves with activities. The stress is even worse for people who are obliged to create because it’s their source of living. We asked some Lomographers to share some words to cheer you on, should you find yourself stuck in a rut.
Despite challenging times, these photos, which were "taken when the world stopped at least for a moment," are bright and uplifting to look at. Community member @deadiadua took the quarantine as a chance to create. "I actually experienced the opposite during quarantine. For the first time, I had time to be creative without any distractions from the outside adult world and obligations. I want to tell people who have trouble with creativity not to burden themselves with it and that they will naturally just respond."
For @sakuramiyao, it helps to try to be optimistic even in uninspiring situations.
Sometimes I see things the wrong way, but when I look at it in a detailed form I can see that it has plans for me. I believe being quarantined and alone is a huge advantage for all of us. We're given a chance to listen to ourselves, understand, question our mistakes, find peace within yourself, and look over the things you've done.
During this time you can exercise both physically and mentally, later you can drink your favorite beverage and listen to your favorite song as you stare at the sky and you'll see your mind will open up a lot and you'll feel better overall. I really forced myself to take photos during the quarantine. I explored the Lomohome, looked at photographers' cameras, saw people's faces... all of which helped my mindset. Honestly, I decided on photographing all my daily activities and researching experimental photography. While doing this, I dreamed of seeing life in a better way, I looked for a reason in believing everything was going to be alright and every day I woke up with this same mindset.
As a child, @eyanweiss survived SARS, which also falls under coronavirus. The current pandemic triggered his fear and anxiety, but being productive certainly helped.
First of all, seek inspiration from a variety of art forms. For instance, whenever you encounter creative block as a photographer, you could turn your mind to, say, watching films that help you discover new themes and perspectives (for me, it’s those black and white cinema classics from the 40s and 50s). Or, if you were a writer, then you could start looking at photographs that capture similar things that you’re trying to express. Almost all the titles of my photos came from my own personal writings because I find that one’s creative ideas communicate with each other in a mysterious way once that person absorbs enough material. And there’s no right or wrong in appreciating a type of art that you may not be even familiar with.
Secondly, talk to other artists. You’d be amazed at how much you learn about yourself and your work by simply catching up with creative individuals. I remember keeping in touch with friends who are directors, cinematographers, and writers during quarantine, and from time to time I gained not only insightful feedback but also fascinating ideas as I tried my best to articulate my vision to someone else.
Also, keep track of your thoughts and feelings. I’m someone who journals extensively; however, journaling doesn’t equal writing lengthy essays. It could be as brief as jotting down random self-reflective notes, especially when you’re experiencing a creative block. This is a great way, to be honest with yourself and to listen to your own voice, which is potentially beneficial to the future process of creating more art.
Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Mental health is important. When you get stuck while working on a project, do something unrelated for a day or two and then come back. We are artists, not machines, so it’s only natural that we feel stressed or frustrated when we’re not consistently producing new work. Take the break that you deserve. Keep in mind that we all have our own pace, that you’re a unique human being, and that everything you create is unique as well. I myself experienced writer’s block during the first half of quarantine as I was writing a short story for my cousin. It meant to be a birthday present but for a while, I just couldn’t find the right way to phrase certain things from our childhood so I adapted the practice I mentioned above. And it helped.
We hope that these words will help you power through the days. If you have any tips to share with the community, post them in the comments below. Until then, always take care!