Gone are the familiar routes to work, the queues in coffee shops, creative clouds and group discussions along with the collaborations that forms part of daily studio routines, replaced by the prospect of staying indoors for the foreseeable future. Even for designers, like myself, the future feels intimidating especially in trying to keep the creative juices flowing.

Having to work remotely doesn’t mean creativity has to suffer, with technology such as Zoom and Teams we’re still able to collaborate and keep ideas bouncing – even with distance between us.

Just as we’ve learnt we can’t fight the pandemic alone, we need to share our knowledge so below we’ve gathered a couple of challenges on how to do just that for those days when a scroll through Instagram with your morning coffee doesn’t quite hit the mark (hint: people are their most creative between 10-11:30am)…

Inspiration in Isolation 

Quick fire challenges usually get the creative juices flowing more than a long, lengthy project. Whether you set yourself a time limit or not, start a mini brief with a ‘What If?’ scenario, for example:

Challenge 1 – Write a poem about your destination, hotel or attraction.

Challenge 2 – Get together with your colleagues on Teams Chat, WhatsApp or Email and start a single sentence story.

Challenge 3 – Getting a piece of paper with circles, turn them into recognisable objects to do with your company.

Challenge 4 – Turn a challenge around e.g. how I make sure we have no visitors or bookings at all.

Challenge 5 – Create a travel mood board/ scrapbook.

Kick-start the brain 

There is a certain pressure from our peers, from strangers and from the internet in general to use this time for self-improvement. Training is a great place to start. Test what you already know. What small steps can open-up your skill set? What’s that thing that blows your mind when you see others do it? Try it.Find out for yourself. Your new favourite thing to do might be out there, completely unknown to you.

Training sites like Skill Share and Lynda.com are just two examples of online learning platforms, creative and non-creative alike, to expand beyond your normal role out of your usual comfort zone.

Tune in to Tune Out  

If self-teaching isn’t your game today, then keep an ear out – something as simple as listening to a TED talk or an audio book can provoke new ways of thinking. 
Podcasts such as …

  • Design Thinking AMA with Suz & Coe 
  • Creative Confidence Podcast
  • 002: On Procrastination and Creative Resistance  
  • Use the sofa people, get creative!
  • Creatives in Lockdown
  • Desert Island Discs podcast 

All of the above are available via Spotify, there are some creative playlists on there too to soothe your ears after. We’re also listening to Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentine  or an audio book can provoke new ways of thinking.

Step up to a challenge and use this time of adversity to have fun, get creative and springboard your personal growth, it sure beats sitting around worrying and you’ll stay ahead of the curve. We still need you; we have new problems to solve. No one knows when things will return to normal, but adaption is key here but what we do know is that creativity always finds a way.

If you’re interested in joining one of our COVID-19 Recovery Workshops (hosted every week from W/C 18th May 2020) email [email protected] or give us a call on 0161 819 5140 and we can navigate creatively together.