LuxDeco’s Jon Sharpe discusses how creatives can stay creative during lockdown, and how communication is key to retaining a flow of ideas, innovation and forward momentum.
Unprecedented times have become the new normal as creatives, designers, architects and artists continue to work under lockdown conditions. But how are creatives staying creative under these circumstances? And where does the industry go from here?
Creatives find ways to stay creative during lockdown
All around the world, people, businesses and governments have been scrambling to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. Lockdown and social isolation have affected millions across the UK. And while the arts, TV and film industries have been completely halted in their tracks, interior designers and creatives are adapting to the changing circumstances.
“Design studios are uniquely placed to continue to thrive during the pandemic,” explains LuxDeco’s Chief Creative Officer Jon Sharpe. “We’re used to melding technology with creativity and can easily continue to be creative from remote locations. As long as we are able to link with other creatives virtually, we can keep ideas flowing to reach our creative goals. This is crucial to ensure the creative industry not only makes it through this crisis but is able to structure a new way of working when the pandemic passes.
Humanity turns to creativity in a crisis and over the last few weeks we have seen this in multiple ways. From rock stars laying on impromptu live streamed concerts to art galleries offering virtual tours, we have had access to the joy of creativity more than before. Search online for art classes, design tutorials and just about everything else you can think of, and you’ll find something.
Creativity sparks under difficult conditions. And while interior designers and design studio have lost the face-to-face camaraderie of their physical studio, creative ideas can still thrive. Jon says: “Creative people don’t lose that need to design, to solve problems and to create beautiful spaces, art or things when the going gets tough. In fact, I would say that many creatives thrive when confronted with all kinds of challenges. At LuxDeco, we’re finding our spark every day, one way or the other.”
Stay creative while working from home
Most designers and studios are, of course, working from home. The industry may be relatively well equipped to make the transition to home working, it’s still been a sudden and major change.
Jon says: “We still don’t know exactly when lockdown will end, and one way to maintain a space that’s conducive to creative thought and action is to use design tenets to create a dedicated workspace at home. Take it away from any distractions, decorate and style it in a way that speaks to you, and think about different ways to work. Invest in a standing desk, for example.
“Studio owners and design leaders can help staff remain creative by easing up on traditional parameters. Staggering times, allowing designers to work at times that suit them and creating an open flow of online communication helps. By supporting your creatives with the practicalities of working from home, including equipment, clear communication and guidelines, you can form a new kind of group creativity.”
Turn problems into innovative creative ideas
Keeping things light is vital in a time of such uncertainty. Putting your focus on creativity, whether it’s a client commission or a collaborative online project, helps retain a sense of power and control in a world that has lost many of its standard guidelines.
There’s endless inspiration online, like these creative reactions to the pandemic and various design challenges to come up with real life solutions to the problems caused by COVID-19. For example, the Fountain of Hygiene competition challenges creatives to design new sanitisers.
“I think it’s important that creatives continue to search for inspiration and seek out art that they enjoy,” says Jon. “Obviously we’ve lost physical access to art galleries, cultural institutions and museums, but many are offering online viewings of their collections. There are ways to connect with other creatives from all areas of the arts, and this is vital for those in creative industries. We need to keep our creativity going, and our passion for beauty, art and culture alive, even when the world seems bleak.”
Keep talking with clients
There’s deep concern in the creative sector, particularly for freelancers and contractors. It’s frustrating to have unfinished projects and no opportunity to get stuck into clients’ interiors. Keeping engaged and in communication with clients is paramount, while still ensuring the safety of all concerned.
“Where it’s possible to continue working with clients, we should be,” says Jon. “Making responsible and informed decisions about where we are with our clients is important, and by encouraging creativity around fulfilling as much of the brief as we can, we can foster a sense of momentum.
“We can’t be face to face right now. But we can keep creative communication going. Creative industries must be collaborative, transparent, brave and innovative. We’re all adjusting to this new world and will find new ways to be creative every day that passes. Creative forces will keep us all going and by remaining connected, forward-thinking and calm, interior designers and studios will get through this crisis and continue to forge a strong and successful industry after lockdown.”
This article comes courtesy of Jon Sharpe who is Chief Creative Officer at LuxDeco, a leading digital ecommerce platform matching high-end interior design with luxury-seeking consumers.