10 ways to stay home and keep your creative juices flowing

pottery ceramics collaboration swap creative work freelance small business styling food product still life photography backdrop

March 24, 2020

I don't know about you but for me, being creative means that I never switch off, I never run out of ideas and projects and I'm often impatient to realise them.  The 'stay at home' order during the corona virus pandemic is making creative work much harder in a lot of ways - especially as many of us have children to homeschool and keep safe and well - but there are positives to take too.

 

In all honesty fear consumed me last week - I couldn't think of anything other than stocking up on paracetamol, isolating our family, ordering school books and getting the house organised to make space for everyones new needs.  I was panicking. I pulled my kids out of school 4 days before the government told us to and it was chaotic.

But now I feel prepared (as anyone can be), we have clear instructions from our government and we have sunshine, I feel a new sense of time and calm.  Yes my expectations may need to be lower with regards to what I can get done in a day around three kids but slowing down is definitely a good thing and it is important for my mental health to keep creating - actually its a marker for my mental health as well.

 

So how can we stay creative at home with limited options, cash and supplies?

Now that I'm no longer panicking I feel inspired again - it's my creativity which is writing this blog, keeping my business adaptive, helping me juggle school and work, making innovative meals with limited ingredients - it's intrinsic to who I am when I'm feeling good.

If you are worrying and feel stuck in a negative cycle, I urge you to

  • prepare sensibly as advised,
  • limit all corona media - TV news, social, group chats - to essential government?WHO info
  • only have positive contact with real friends - now is the time to avoid big chat groups and endless pinging of messages
  • get outside for at least half an hour walking, running or cycling and more in your own outdoor space if you have one
  • snuggle your loved ones, breathe them in and embrace the moment

Creativity is blocked by fear. Just focus on what you can do, what you are grateful for and what you'd like to do when all this is over. Which it will be one day, hopefully soon.  

 

The 'stay at home' order is forcing us to look inward instead of outward for happiness, to appreciate what we have instead of focusing on what we think we need or want (based on external factors probably) - this is a fantastic thing to learn and know if you don't already. 

Real, peaceful, unquashable happiness lies here.  Relearning inner peace and recognising what we can do in our home and garden to nurture ourselves could be a great positive to come out of this situation.

 

Now that I feel calm and prepared and have taken my foot off the pedal a bit, I can see lots of creative opportunities around me, some with what I already have at home and others with what I can still buy safely or order online. 

I hope you are feeling safe and well and that these ideas will help you maintain your creativity during this unique period.

 

10 ideas to help you stay creative at home

 

1. Have a clear out

Boring? No, therapeutic and freeing! I always feel so much better after a clear out - theres so much calm in space and tidiness and it helps clear your head for creative projects, especially writing i find.  Just make sure you have enough bags and space to store rubbish/donations as you could be holding on to them for a while.  Check out @adetailedlife and @mariekondo

 

declutter peaceful home interior design tidy creative space stay at home calm creativity

declutter peaceful home interior design tidy creative space stay at home calm creativity

Not the best images sorry but having our sitting room / my work space clean and tidy has meant that as soon as an exciting package arrived today I was able to get on and create!

  

2. Decorate. 

If you have a spare tin of paint could you refresh a room or start a new project? Paint and equipment are deliverable too - check out Wilkos and Homesbase who are doing 3for2 on Farrow and Ball as well of lots of other DIY bits at the mo.

 

3. Cook, bake, ferment, pickle. 

There doesn't seem to be any real worry about shortages of food and provisions yet as long as people shop sensibly.  Dig your cookbooks out or get on ckbk for thousands of top and recommended recipes. And of course get the kids involved if you have any snapping at your ankles.

 

pickle food styling cucumber gherkin food canned tinned stay at home make bake create

As long as your have vinegar and some spices you can pickle! Here i've pickled some baby cucumber with mustard seeds, pink peppercorn, chilli, fennel and coriander. Shot with the Lima (wall) and Pesca (tabletop) photography backdrops.

 

4. Tidy up your garden/outside space

We did this last Friday and it feels SO much better plus the kids have a great space to play now.  I don't have cash to spend on big gardening projects at the mo but its a fantastic time of year to be growing, noticing and enjoying the changes in your garden. 

 

5. Practise something or learn something new. 

What were you saying you needed to brush up on but didn't have the time, what were you itching to learn? For me thats baking more of my own bread again and sorting out my props cupboard. If you'd like to learn about styling, content creation and DIY photography check out my online courses.

 

food styling photography workshop stay at home online course creative project work backgrounds stylist

Latest feedback for my online course 1. 

 

6. Get those photos up.

How many pictures do we take nowadays and how often do we actually get them up on the walls? I start this every year between the 26th and 31st December and never complete it. Get your happy times printed, framed and up on the walls. 

 

7. Invent a new garden game. 

I haven't actually done this yet but i am thinking back to my childhood when we had a version of rounders which involved hitting the ball with a space hopper then hopping round the posts. Them were the days! It worked because of course you couldn't hit the ball very far so it rarely went over to the neighbours gardens, more often than not it got stuck in a thorny bush and the slow hopper had chance to get a rounder.  What would work in your outside space - an assault course, a bike ramp, bean bags and buckets? That brings me on to the next item nicely...

 

8.  Get crafty. 

Most creatives will have a drawer, box, room (or two) filled with odds and ends. Now is the time to make do and mend or work on new projects.  We'll be using some old napkins from my props cupboard to make bean bags for a new garden game (what to fill them with though now rice is a premium?!) - you could download craft projects and sewing patterns - kid friendly or not!  

 

9.  Keep working but in new ways.  

I'm really excited to be collaborating with other makers, doing swaps and teaching remotely. What could you do at the moment - perhaps not for money (or for less than normal) but for the sake of keeping creatively fulfilled and positive while supporting other freelancers and small businesses? Creative work is never just about money is it!

I have just received three beautiful ceramic bowls from JH Pottery @jhopps.pottery.  We did a swap for like-for-like retail value on our products - its helpful to both of us in several ways -

  • it's a lovely way to trade and support another small business,
  • we will of course give each other a lot of shout outs, 
  • it inspired me to shoot this morning,
  • her packaging was great - I have learned of some new eco options
  • its good to be on the receiving end of another small businesses customer journey - seeing how they present their products and communicate with you
  • and of course i have some beautiful and unique new props

 pottery ceramics collaboration swap creative work freelance small business styling food product still life photography backdrop

Jenny's bowl and cherry blossom shot on the Mo food photography backdrop

 

10. Create corona art. Seriously!  

We have been ordering quite a bit of school and sports equipment to get set up to stay at home and we now have lots of cardboard and packaging to get rid of or use. 

We are creating a sculpture (perhaps thats a bit generous, it's a heart which we add another larger layer to every day since the schools closed last Friday) which will serve as an ode to this unique time and a reminder to stay grateful when things get back to normal.  Another nice idea is to collect an organic memento like flowers or small twigs each day and preserve them (flower pressing is easy between paper and books) or paint rocks, making a collection that marks each day we are living this way.

 

Our art marking each day we spend as a solo family unit.  Shot on the Mo food photography backdrop

I hope that's given you a few ideas and something nice to focus on for a few minutes or hours over the coming weeks.

 

I'd love to hear what you've been doing at home or in your garden to stay creative!

If you're a maker/creative/small business and would like to collaborate or do a swap please comment below and I'll get in touch with you! I'm always open to ideas.

 

Take care everyone - prepare, switch off, slow down and stay you!

Lots of love, Soph xx

 

Comments

Abbie

Abbie said:

Thanks Sophie, a great read and a reminder to realise there is more we can do creatively whilst going through all this. I’ll be ordering some paint I think to crack on with the bathroom whilst other projects slow down.

Rachael

Rachael said:

I love how the creative community are all coming together exchanging in skills and services for no financial gain, simply just to keep creating and to support others.. it’s just so lovely to see! Anyway if you need any design you know where I am 😊

Fran

Fran said:

This is a refreshing post, Sophie. Nice to read positive things in this dark time.

Not sure how I can help, but if you need a Retoucher, I would absolutely love to collaborate.

Stay safe ☺️

Katia

Katia said:

Love this post, it resonates with my own thoughts… Also been doing small projects at home (all the ones u have mentioned) but as for creativity i havent yet found a way to fit it in. Though photography of moments together has been something of a creative need :)
I d love to do a creative exchange but hmm ideas?!

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