A Creative Director’s Journey: How I Cope with Covid-19 Using Creativity

Surviving quarantine and social distancing caused by  the Covid-19 pandemic is not easy. Whether you are grieving the loss of loved ones, sick, or just feeling social isolation and wondering when this craziness will end, you are not alone.

If you work as a graphic designer, creative director, or in any field where you have to generate new, visual ideas on a daily basis to solve business problems, you have a super power at your disposal: CREATIVITY.

I am the kind of creative that needs a real-world business problem kind of prompt to solve in order to get my creative juices really flowing. But the pandemic has unleashed another side of my creativity — a side that says I NEED to create to survive. I’ve experienced some pretty bad days during this pandemic. Those days led me to tap into that flow state of being and a need to create something to turn my mind away from reality.

Here’s how you can use creativity to cope with quarantine:

Step 1: Make the time

Take a moment. Stop. Breathe. Pick up your tool of choice and create something. For me, I enjoy making time in the beginning of the day as well as after work. I make it a priority in my life because I recognize that I need this time to feel some sort of normal to balance the very not normal world we are living in.

Step 2: Remove judgement

Don’t pressure yourself into feeling like you have to create something gallery-worthy. Whatever you create doesn’t even have to be art and it does not have to be beautiful. It merely needs to capture every ounce of your attention to take your mind away from the hurt and the pain of the pandemic. Give yourself the permission to create anything on your mind, in any way that makes you feel better.

Step 3: Create

The teacher in me wants to give you an idea on how to start. Each morning, I write a “braindump” into my journal to clear my head. Expressing myself in writing has been a challenge recently because I am grieving the loss of a family member and a friend. Instead, I draw doodles. Most of the time they are just scribbles that I turn into some kind of design. BUT, I lose myself in these drawings for about 15-20 minutes. That’s the same amount of time it would take me to write how I am feeling and plan out my day.

You can use any medium you wish. I use pen and lined paper — it isn’t pretty. While I choose to keep mine abstract, yours does not have to be. Use canvas, cardboard, construction paper, or whatever else you like.

The point is to get your mind away from this situation while physically staying in the same place. Invest your energy and focus in an activity that allows the creativity to flow and maybe even helps you remember normal times.

My challenge to you: Use your creative muscle to help you survive. Create as a distraction. Create to get into your flow state. Create to go to your happy place.

Create as a tool of survival.

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MGS Graphics provides graphics production support to ad agencies, graphic designers, brand managers, retailers and product manufacturers. We help scale your business with our graphic production team providing high-quality digital support for your high-volume needs. Ask us about our design service. Learn more at MGSGraphicspro.com.