Brand strategist and creative mentor, Naana Orleans-Amissah, led a session on keeping creative in lockdown. Hear from Create Jobs Alumni, BritnyV on the answers she got from the workshop.

The session with Naana was therapeutic as well as timely, not only for me but for the other people in the session, especially during this time of uncertainty and confusion. Naana took us through several questions which the group discussed and pondered on. She created an interactive session, using pen and paper to share our ideas and thoughts which made us feel close, despite being so far away.

As a group we looked at exploring what creativity is, what it looks like to be creative, how we can keep things fresh and magnetic in lockdown.

The responses were refreshing and enlightening for me to receive. The few answers included:

  • The art of structuring your day with a to-do list. This can be extremely helpful in generating a positive and productive atmosphere
  • Taking it day-by-day and understanding that creativity is a practice, so enjoy the process of exercising your craft. This is fundamental to preventing stress along with understanding that you don’t have to be creating all day, every day
  • Being good to yourself. Find certain things you enjoy and do them. This can help facilitate better results in your productivity and get your creative and innovative juices flowing
  • Someone suggested that we change the way we approach and think about a task. This advice has revolutionised my daily tasks and helped me understand my motives behind a task. I can be so hard on myself which prevents me from achieving the things I’ve set out to achieve, but since I’ve adjusted my view on certain things it has helped me to execute tasks with much more ease

Another question Naana directed at us which I had given little thought to was how do we overcome the challenge of pressure? Since we’re young creatives trying to break into the industry during a global pandemic, we can tend to put unnecessary pressure and stress on ourselves that isn’t helpful or productive. Some responses echoed the above but here is a list of the answers for this specific question:

  • See this time as an opportunity to be less distracted. We’re now faced with a situation where we’re forced to focus on ourselves as individuals and time to perfect our craft as creatives, so we should, therefore, seize the opportunity to do so
  • Along with that is to break down the specifics of your stress and recognises the root cause of the pressure you feel. This can dramatically ease the burden off of our shoulders. I know for me it has helped as I’ve been intentional about recognising my triggers and breathing through my anxiety and stress
  • Stop putting the pressure on ourselves that is non-existent except in our minds. It only causes further damage to our minds and our progression
  • Reinvent the way you work is another phenomenal way to relieve stress and the pressure to create. Finding a new way, finding new habits, and adapting to your new environment and circumstance and making the most out of what you have can have a profound influence on your productivity and the load we put on ourselves as individuals
  • Know that you’re not alone in this! We’re in it with you! This can help remove or subvert the pressure we put on ourselves as creatives and as people. When we know we’re not alone, then we can better face challenges when they arise because we no longer face things as lone wolves but as a fierce pack

To finish we discussed what it means to stay connected in a time of uncertainty and dismay. We noted that being honest about our feelings is one way to stay connected with others and most importantly ourselves.

Slowing down is another factor that can harness the intimacy of connection and nurture that connection. In a time of social distancing, it’s still very important to stay connected and communicate with those we love and make time for the people we cherish. One way to invest in this is by being present. Diverting from the habit of rushing and enveloping ourselves to a place of stillness, rest and attentiveness.

I hope this recap was helpful and brought any form of comfort. Wherever you are on your journey, keep going! We believe in you!

Words by BritnyV.