So, lockdown. Huge amounts of time but huge amounts of anxiety. The sum of that = not a lot of energy or headspace to be creative. So, bearing in mind self-care is key, and there is no requirement to be productive, what to do?
First, I’ve joined a facebook group of people who are working through The Artist’s Way. Most are already creatives, but I imagine we all have our blocks and, at 12 weeks long, the programme fits the initial period of isolation (if we’re lucky and it isn’t extended.) We’re in the middle of Week 2 now and it’s going OK – I’ve stuck with morning pages and the exercises so far, but artist’s dates are rather limited (though constraint can generate creativity and inventiveness, so maybe it’s a sort of physical-world Oulipo.)
In-built prompts help, so I am applying for funded opportunities (the brief is the prompt, and is what I should be doing anyway) and converting some commissioned work into online forms for events that have been cancelled. Rationing online time is key – enough to stay connected without being drawn into apocalyptic doom or angry politics (for me, now is not the time.) I could be in back-to-back Zoom meetings, performances and so on, but that does not constitute self care, so again they are rationed. As the B-52s sang, “just sit on the porch and swing.”
Something involving a very large piece of paper, intricacy and overlaid media is forming – we shall see if it makes it from brain to substrate. Until then, here’s a short concrete/shape poem with a visual element that spring to mind a few days ago, my life having slowed considerably…