The world is facing a serious crisis no one saw coming. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the daily routine of many people, leaving some lost and puzzled about their job situation.
It’s very scary and stressful to adjust to such radical changes. A lot of people have faced anxiety and loneliness, struggling with all the limitations taking place. Most plans and events are postponed indefinitely, leaving people with little to look forward to. But people find more and more ways to deal with the stress and adjust to our ever-shifting world.
Limitations due to coronavirus, fears, and confinement at home have sparked creativity in people who were far from artistic before. When home begins to feel more like a prison, many people choose to rely on art to calm themselves and survive in their confinement. Some have discovered they like to draw, while others try out a new recipe every day.
But what about people that worked in the creative industry before all this? It’s the one industry where human interaction is essential, going out is a must to finish tasks, and for some specialties, collaboration is the foundation of it all. Here are all the ways the creative industry has changed, and what has changed for professionals that are a part of it.
Changes the creative industry has to adjust to
Different professionals in the creative industry suffer in their own ways. Some were affected more than others(hence their lockdown adjustment required more effort), while for others there was not much of a change except for having to work remotely. But different professions have their particularities, and here’s what everyone had to adjust to.
When quarantine was announced in most countries, photographers were hit hard and hit immediately. Photographers can no longer travel freely for jobs, carry out studio sessions as usual, and there are no activities taking place anymore.
However, some photographers found solutions to keep doing what they love and dived into the marketing aspects of their work to prepare everything for a new work season after all this is over. Some of them have started to offer creative photoshoots via Zoom, Skype, and other apps. Others take on new projects and find new ways to create beautiful lockdown art even when stuck at home.
“When it became clear the coronavirus had already spread to Moscow, even before the official recommendations on self-isolation appeared, I cancelled all shootings I had planned as to not put in danger the health of my clients and other people” – says Valerie Titova, an artistic, portrait and event photographer from Moscow, Russia. “At the moment I’m writing articles about visual culture, working on my portfolio and taking on self-education. In general, I’m doing things I have always wanted to do but never had time for. But I really miss the shoots”.
Designers, in general, are doing way better than photographers since their work doesn’t rely so much on meeting with people on a daily basis. Some are still able to keep up with their projects, although there are fewer clients willing to spend their money in this unstable economic situation.
Many designers are coming up with new creative ideas responding to the pandemic. They create beautiful protection masks, unconventional products for sanitizing hands and premises, and different useful artworks. There are a dozen design professions and they can all somehow sustain their art even in confinement to keep busy and monetize their works.
Fine Arts and Illustration
The current situation is relatively easier for artists and illustrators than for other professionals in the creative industry. As well as designers, many of them have started to create artworks as a response to the pandemic and with the intent to help others.
Some artists even transform their works into coloring sheets so that their followers can have some rest painting them, chill for a bit, and calm their minds. While others try to cheer their audience with art to remind them that eventually, everything will be alright. For example, one of the most famous living artists, David Hockney, painted a picture called ‘Do remember they can’t cancel the spring’.
The music industry was heavily influenced by COVID-19 since many musicians, both independent and commercially successful, basically rely on concerts and tours to earn a living. For many, it is an only source of income since streaming and selling their albums are not very profitable unless it’s one of the top bands or artists.
All the events in the foreseeable future were cancelled, and it’s not clear when musicians will get back to touring. Some of them, especially individual musicians and electronic producers, found a solution in streaming concerts via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitch, but it’s not so convenient for members of bands separated by self-isolation and stuck in their homes. Anyway, streaming a concert and selling tickets to a real event are not comparable in profits, and many musicians found themselves on the edge.
It’s even worse for music professionals who work mostly offline – sound engineers, music studios workers, and record masters. “In February I still had promising plans for this spring. I got several offers from concert venues, and I thought I would work as a sound engineer in music bars and at concerts when the concert season started. But in a month everything changed drastically”, – says Margo Bilchenko, a freelance sound engineer from Kyiv, Ukraine. “Now I’m just sitting at home doing almost nothing. I know I’m not the only person who lost their job due to the pandemic, and I know I should spend some time on self-education and music courses, but I can’t help feeling trapped and useless.”
Writing and Journalism
Things are not so bad for writers and most journalists since they can easily switch to remote work. Although some professionals in journalism were affected in a negative way – many TV-channels and radio stations switched to reduce broadcasting and cut working hours. Consequently the salaries went low.
On the other hand, many journalists in online media managed to set a new workflow and a completely remote routine with new projects and people craving for information in these unstable times.
Digital marketing and PR
This is a flourishing field as well in general, but money shortage for ads and campaigns led to abrupt budget cuts and issues as well. Companies that were not able to quickly adapt had to let go some of their employees. Brands that adjusted had to come up with many new formats, so it’s safe to say that the limitations boosted their creativity.
“Due to quarantine our projects went online. Since the whole editorial office is working remotely, initially we had some problems communicating, but at the same time somehow we became stronger as a team because we are in this together” – says Anastasia Popko, a project manager in Bird in Flight, online media about visual culture. “We decided to provide some real help and organized a charitable online auction of works by Ukrainian photographers. All the profits went to local hospitals working with coronavirus patients. The hardest part for me with self-isolation was not the shortage of work but getting used to working remotely. I even had to force myself out of bed and go for a walk around my apartment block every morning to motivate myself.”
Keep calm and don’t panic – there are things you can do
Feeling trapped inside your home doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. In fact, self-isolation can help you boost your creativity in unexpected ways. These are the things you can do at home not to go nuts, find some inspiration, and potentially become a better professional.
Take some time to rethink your portfolio and improve your skills online
Quarantine and the self-isolation period are the perfect opportunity to start on things you were postponing before. You’re a photographer and stuck at home? Why don’t you take some time to update your website, portfolio, and social media, make some research on potential clients, or just learn some new skills online that can be useful for your profession? That way you will improve your business for when work restores. These tips on boosting your photography business are good for other creatives as well.
Get a new hobby
You always wanted to draw, grow plants, or exercise regularly? Now is the perfect time to do that! New hobbies and activities are the greatest source of inspiration humankind can offer. Even 15 minutes of morning exercises are a good way to start and can add a new sense of meaning to your days. Rearrange things in your house to upgrade your space and do some hands-on activity.
Slow down and take some time to meditate
Several months ago slow living was a fancy trend, but at the moment it’s the only way to get by. Since now you don’t spend time on your daily commute, you have more free time, so why don’t you try to slow down for a little bit? You can use your free time to meditate. Meditation can calm your spirits, reduce anxiety, and give a boost to your creativity. With so many apps and free YouTube video instructions available, you can easily adapt a new, wholesome, and healthy habit.
Find some ideas in your old projects
Even without the quarantine it’s a good thing to come back and reread your old texts, or take a look at the artworks and projects you finished years ago. It can help you see how you’ve grown and changed as a creative professional and even find some cool ideas that were not used at that time. With that in mind, you might find some inspiration for your future works.
Explore freelance options
It’s hard to lose your stable job or salary but there are many opportunities to earn some extra money. A good solution for photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers is to upload their archives of images and works to some stock websites like Depositphotos. It’s an easy step to start earning as a freelancer.
Promise me everything will be OK
Remember that quarantine can’t last forever. What may seem terrifying right at the moment will look different as time passes and life restores to normal. A lockdown has taught us to be flexible and creative. The world will never be the same and now is the perfect time to reflect, adjust, and find new ways to indulge in work.
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