Photo via Wix

CREATIVE SOLITUDE

BY KIANA MORIDI

As the Coranavirus has developed over the course of the past year/eternity, our lives and work routines have drastically changed.Distant are the days of in-person office meetings and social obligations. But as with most things that once seemed life-altering, realizations and self-reflection has reared its honest head, forcing many to come to terms with their careers, especially those who work in creative industries. With more time to create, think, and practice their crafts, creatives are learning about their work through solitude and less distraction. From full-time musicians to photographers and artists, we chat with local creatives about expectations versus reality, self-realizations, and an altered way of life. 

Danny Davis
musician

"I’ve had more time for uninterrupted writing sessions and a rediscovery of the value of focusing on one specific idea for an extended, singular period of time. For the past few years, I deliberately did the opposite, in favor of chasing the muse and accumulating idea after idea the second they appeared, abandoning each one before it as the new one came in. It’s easy to find yourself with a pile of mediocre ideas that can be difficult to sift through and take further, as opposed to one really good one that will stick because of the extra TLC given to it in its infancy." 

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Peyton Groce
artist

"This experience has made me feel grateful yet trapped. I am grateful because I have a husband who is still allowed to work, a home, two dogs, food, and shelter. I feel trapped because I want to be around human beings—my friends, my family. I want to go out to eat. I want to travel. I don't like being held back, but I also know that being held back is beneficial in this time, and in life, generally speaking. When we are being held back, it's because we're just not ready yet. Being ready takes time, effort, patience, love, creativity, and support—once all those things fall into place, I have a feeling we'll be swept up in a big, loving hug." 

 

Joe White III 
musician

"For me, the quarantine and the pandemic around it has been a polarizing affair. On one hand, I’m worried about my older family members and friends. I’m worried for the people I know going through this alone, and more heartbreakingly, for the people that contract the disease and end up in a hospital bed alone. On the flip side of that, my partner and I have started a hot chicken delivery service, which we’ve talked about doing for years now. We’ve been collaborating and creating with a ton of people in new ways. We played our first ever live-stream show and we’re finding new, creative means of working together--kind of like necessity is the mother of invention kind of thing."

 

Photo by Ryan Magnani 

Brittany Phillips 
PHOTOGRAPHER

"I’ve been shedding the expectation I’ve put on myself every day like old skin. I’ve been remembering that I am not in control and surrendering to that reality. I’m learning that my days will look different than my neighbors or anyone else. There will be days when all I can do is get out of bed and wash my face. And then there will be days where I wake up and repot every plant in my house, clean my bathroom, and return every email. Both days will exist and both are my reality. I’m remembering that I am more than my productivity, and that when this is all over, to be proud of the time I spent resting, healing, and listening because that’s just what I needed."

 

Crystal Emerson
Fashion design student
& adjunct professor

"I’ve never been busier in my life! I feel like everything I try to do in this situation takes me twice as long as it should. Moving my classes online as a professor has been a challenge. Taking my class online as a student has also been a challenge. Getting my three children fed and situated for their online classes also takes a crazy amount of time each day. But I take breaks throughout it all. The other day, my daughter and I made a fun copycat dance video of a [60’s model and actress] Twiggy because I was so inspired by it and thought it would be fun to emulate.My daughter is planning to major in film production next year, so we both had fun collaborating, even for just a brief moment."

 

Photo by Madelyn Archer

Abbey Rhoads  
MUSICIAN

"I’ve loved the re-evaluation that the pandemic has brought. This time at home has helped me sit down and look at creative endeavors from a really optimistic point of view, like, “Whoa, maybe now I actually have time to do things.” My partner and I have been recording music, writing, making cat castles and cooking-which are all of the things that I love. At the same time, I hate these circumstances. I’ve cried looking out the window at my mom when she dropped off supplies for us. I’ve realized how much of an affectionate person I really am. I miss giving hugs-- I can’t wait to do that again."

Kelsey Davis   
FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR

"Quarantine has given me and my husband time to breathe and tap into our natural rhythm. Late nights spent creating, no commutes, meals made together, sleeping a little later-- a Pura Vida lifestyle that we’ve always craved."

 

Alberto Roubert
MUSICIAN

"The pandemic has been extremely eye-opening for me, and I believe it’s all happening for a reason. I guess the way I’ve come to think about it is, if we don’t take this time to grow and take advantage of the situation, then we’ve done something wrong. I’ve had a lot of time to practice music and approach it in a much broader sense like never before. It’s been really healthy for my mind and soul- a time where I can really get lost and take my time with my work. Of course, I’ve had my moments of anxiety, fear, and plenty of worries. But when I sit back and think about what “normal” used to look like, I don’t necessarily miss it all too much. I do miss playing shows with my bands, writing, and just spending time with close friends, but I know that will all come back, and it’ll look even better than it did before. All in all, I’m learning how to appreciate the things we do have while living within our means- I think it’ll be a lesson we all will learn from."

 

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Photo by Daniel Mudliar

Photo by Daniel Mudliar

Ryan Magnani   
MUSICIAN & photographer

"We all, at some time or another, claimed that 'If we had more time, then we’d (blank).' Well, we now have the time. Do we really want to learn a new language? Do we really want to learn that new skill? We hide behind the excuses of being too busy or having to work too many hours to actually become the best version of ourselves. I’ve been struggling with just how much of an “artist” I really am. This time has made me run the gambit of all those emotions, especially on a day where instead of reading the multitude of unread books in my apartment, or picking up my guitar, or putting pen to paper to write anything down, I scroll through Facebook and Instagram hoping that some of whatever these people who are seemingly doing the things I’m not will rub off on me through a six-inch screen. This time has shown me how important it is to not wait on creativity to hit. Sometimes you have to just sit down, create a space that allows for you to work your way into something that resembles inspiration, and run with it."