Creating Creative Community in a Pandemic
Creativity coach Helen Klebesadel provides top tips on the creative life.
Posted March 6, 2021
This is a strange time for everyone and an especially strange time for creatives, who may suddenly have more time on their hands but who may also be finding themselves too distracted and off-balance to create. On top of that, isolation, alienation, and loneliness are affecting us all. In today’s post, creativity coach Helen Klebesadel helps us think about how creatives can create community in the middle of a pandemic.
Every morning in my daily journal I write the following as a commitment to myself for the day, “Eat well, sleep more, move more, make more art, maintain and grow connections with generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness toward yourself and others.”
This personal commitment to try to grow and maintain rich connections with others during the pandemic has led me to build a growing online creative community. We encourage the use of creative art processes to channel the emotions we are all grappling within our pandemic times. Creatives at all levels in all media are invited to share their art and creative work via social media, whether they are just beginning or are making a living on their art.
As the danger of COVID-19 became clearer I canceled all of my in-person art exhibitions and all of my art and coaching workshops (or turned them into virtual events) and wondered, like so many …what next? Soon I found that, like the larger world, most of the creative people I knew were feeling anxious and vulnerable in the face of the coming shut down and our unknown futures.
Some were looking toward long stretches of time alone with despair and others were wondering how they would survive economically. It became clear to me that in these times my good mental health would depend on maintaining connections with my friends, family, and creative community. If this was true for me, it was true for others. Maybe this was a way to help.
I started a group to serve these needs. Maybe you would like to start your own group? Here are three reasons why you might want to start your own creative community group:
1. To give creatives a way to use making and sharing their art as a way to continue to grow creatively while fighting the emotional consequence of the times.
2. To create an online creative community for people at all levels to encourage each other’s creativity as an act of resistance. My intention was to dilute the fear and negative emotions generated by the 24/7 social media news feeds of politics and coronavirus with the positive joy that can come from doing and sharing art and creative ideas.
3. To create a space that acknowledges that the corona crisis has spotlighted the social, political, and economic issues that were already present before the outbreak, with the goal of making space to think creatively about how to act to create the post-pandemic world we hope to live in when this crisis has passed.
I bet you’ve been thinking about creative community for a long time. Now may be the perfect moment to get your feet wet and start a group of your own. The artists in the group will appreciate it—and so will you!