Inspirational Lockdown - Creativity despite or especially due to isolation?

Due to the pandemic, we have had to adapt to changing conditions over and over again in the past few months. But what happened to our creativity in lockdown?
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reading material for the time of isolation, Image Courtesy of Christian Vierig

With all of the banana bread, online yoga, and DIY ceramics that you see on social media, you might think that lockdown is the only way to really fuel creativity.

Whereas, a look at the news tarnishes the picture quite quickly. Most of the people who live from their creativity, had a practically professional ban since March 2020.

From a lot of these artist we hear that they kept on their creativity working on recording new songs in the studio, writing books or painting. But is this creative process still the same as it was before the pandemic? Isn't it always necessary to have freedom and interaction with other people in order to create art?


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Dries Van Noten SS 21: cheerful colors and simple cuts, sometimes you can just simply wear the short trip

In times of a crisis like the current one, creativity still plays a very special role. Psychology defines this fairly open term, which is not only related to the arts, but means every act of “doing”, as the assumption that creativity creates something new with a certain added value. It always goes hand in hand with the ability to be curious and to respond to that curiosity as an ongoing process of a creative force.
Many people believe that there is only one moment of inspiration that we cannot influence ourselves. But in fact we can - certainly through what we have experienced days, months or even years before. All of our experiences shape our creative process.

And it is often assumed that creativity needs infinite freedom. But it also lives very much from restrictions, because we then have to think about something in order to cope with these changes. And Corona has clearly shown that. In their isolation, creative people had to look for new sources of inspiration and at least made us more imaginative. Sometimes it already helps to take a different perspective in a banal everyday situation and be ready to leave the usual path. By reflecting on and questioning these, we come across new thoughts and receive valuable impulses.

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Fendi SS 21: Silvia Venturini photographed these delicate shadow plays in her bedroom during lockdown and had the patterns printed on soft silk and transparent linen

So creativity is not a coincidence. Creativity can become a habit, it's just a matter of practice.

Very few use their full creative potential, but that can be changed by dealing with new topics - the inspiration - and drawing your own creative incentive from them in order to stimulate this change of your own perspective.

The autumn-winter collections that were designed in lockdown all had at least one thing in common: their fashion designers inevitably took up local inspiration and found new joy in reviving the tactile pleasure of materials and handicrafts.
Their thoughts did not travel too far and they were inspired by their home environment such as idyllic gardens and picturesque landscapes (Burberry, Valentino ...). Others found their inspiration through that creative change of perspective in their longings during the lockdown (Erdem, Dries Van Noten, MM6 Maison Margiela ...).

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Valentino SS 21: As a longing for fresh green, Pierpaolo Piccioli created a touching contrast between the urban setting and the paradise garden for Valentino

When researching our own creativity, however, it is also very important not to put yourself under pressure. Because then exactly the opposite would come out. Just because everyone around us seems to want to be creative in lockdown doesn't mean you have to do that if it means even more stress for you. 

So-called “incubation times” are supposed to be the key to creativity: This means first of all working intensively on a task, then taking a break and doing distracting activities. During this time, which can be hours, days or weeks, the problem continues to work in the head. And the experiences we have in the meantime influence the following brainstorming.

Spontaneous ideas that come across from time to time should be recorded in a notebook so that we can refer to them if we are completely uninspired. The number one creativity killer is a hasty assessment of the real feasibility of the idea. A creative process is always related to mistakes - that's the only way to grow. It is all the more important to separate the brainstorming and assessment from one another.

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Dolce & Gabbana SS 21: The Italian design duo found no more obvious source of inspiration in lockdown than their home island of Sicily

Creativity should not only serve to solve problems, but also simply bring new approaches to thinking and ultimately be fun.
One example is the great progress made in digitization. In companies where home office was never imaginable, working from home is now completely normal. Now even private meetings are being held via it.

We were lured out of our comfort zone. But you just have to leave them and think outside the box in order to be able to break new ground and let innovations arise. Nevertheless, we of course hope that the crisis will soon be over.


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