12/31/2020

Creativity in Covid times

First I called this topic suggestion for the Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival a personal one and then I forgot about it completely. Mind you, that was on November 1, and on the next day something happened that managed to make this year even worse than it had been the months before.
It's hard for me to be clinical about this year. When hearing 2020, all I want to do is swear in the worst words I know, but I have never done that on my blog and won't start it now. I also won't tell you everything that happened because most of it is very personal, and not all of it has to do with Covid.
Covid, however, has been hanging above me like Damocles' Sword, waiting to make everything more difficult, more scary, more uncertain.

Being immunocompromised, I have rarely left the house since March. I am lucky, I have wonderful people running important chores for me and bringing me groceries (which makes me feel grateful, but also guilty sometimes), and I had turned into a homebody in the last few years, anyway.
Working in home office suited me very well, too. Not having to commute saved me a lot of time.
Sounds perfect, doesn't it?
Even a homebody like me can become restless eventually, though, or feel trapped. I didn't embrace the same things as others. I don't cook or bake much, and Covid wouldn't make me change that. I don't follow video workouts. I don't like video chats. I did talk a lot on the phone, however, in fact I don't think I have ever been on the phone so much before, not even as a teenager. A lot of it had to do with the private matters I mentioned, though.

So I had time for being creative like crazy, right? Theoretically yes, but it didn't work out that way.
One side effect of Covid were shipping restrictions to other countries. My business which is mostly aimed overseas was practically non-existent this year, and once restrictions were lifted, shipping overseas was so delayed not just across the ocean, but also within the destination countries that I didn't feel like taking chances.
I'm not complaining about my business per se as it's not that big, and I have an income from my part-time job. I'm so sorry for those people who are not as lucky.
I'm just mentioning it because not being able to sell influenced my creativity more than I would have expected.
My motivation was at a low and so was my creativity at first. It simply didn't make any sense to me to create something under these circumstances, it felt as if that part of my brain also had gone into lockdown. Of course I had had creative blocks before, but this was worse. I questioned everything and I'm pretty sure I got on quite a few nerves with my whining about it.

Looking back, however, I noticed that I got a few things done after all although not many of them were jewelry.
I finally started trying out a new technique, bead embroidery. I made some jewelry first, and then bead embroidery took me on a new journey, big projects like The Box, The Tiara/Headband, and finally The Sneakers. Yes, in capital letters because these felt BIG.
I also beaded two more doll outfits, and lately I have been working on another pair of sneakers.
It's actually a little surprising to me that I managed to pull all of these through. On the other hand I ignored my wire almost completely and jewelry was suddenly on the backburner.
These are a few of the things I made.

Don't ask me what that means because I don't know.
Will things become normal again eventually? Will my creativity change back, completely, in parts or not at all?
Has my interest shifted from making jewelry to making, well, whatever? What does that mean for my business? I have never sold any of my bigger non-jewelry projects because there was so much of my time and heart in them that I didn't manage to part with them, not even mentioning that I don't intend to underprice myself, but also don't believe in people wanting to pay the prices I would have to ask.
The conclusion is that I don't have the slightest idea at the moment, and you are probably already tired of my rambling, anyway ;-)

For now I'll just be waiting for what's going to happen next. Will the situation improve with the vaccines, if so, when? When will I have to leave home office and commute again? What else will the new year bring me?
Interesting times ...

What are other JAC members' experiences? Check it out here.

Jewelry Art by Dawn
My Bijou Life

4 comments:

JewelryArtByDawn said...

Cat, 2020 was certainly been a difficult year, and like many, I'm hoping this bright shiny new year will be a better one. I think that in the beginning, the stay at home orders were easier for homebodies, but being so by choice is quite different than having it forced on a person and brings its own set of challenges emotionally and mentally. I hope that the arrival of spring will also bring to you feelings of hope and renewal.

The things you created during your seclusion are stunningly beautiful. I find it interesting that almost all of them are blue. Do you think that was a reflection of your mood?

Hang in there, sweet lady. Better days are ahead. xoxo

Cat said...

Thank you, my dear friend, for everything. You must certainly have nerves of steel to put up with me!

I'll have to contemplate my tendency to use blue. I used a lot of stash which happened to be blue, but I surprised myself when putting this together.
I did start a pink/grey project, but had to rip it up because something wasn't right.
I'm glad that my HeatherCat shoes will have so many happy, cheerful colors!

xx

Anonymous said...

Covid is such a mixed bag. Your BIG projects are beautiful and amazing, and may never have been created without Covid. I understand the question of the influence of selling. As you know, I was questioning that before Covid came along. It can be so confusing.

The uncertainty is so taxing. But with the vaccines, I am cautiously optimistic - even in spite of the armed insurrection at our nation’s Capitol yesterday.

My post on the topic will be published tomorrow.

Michelle
https://mybijoulifeonline.com

Cat said...

I think part of why creating and selling has been so connected to me is that people kept asking me, one of them my mother, what I was going to do with all the stuff I made. I think that's how many people start a shop.

Uncertainty is indeed taxing, it can suck all energy right out of you.