Special Q&A | How To Be Creative Whilst in Lockdown

Special Q&A | How To Be Creative Whilst in Lockdown

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


On this special edition of the Unlocking Creativity podcast, listeners of the show send in their questions about how to be creative and stay creative whilst in lockdown and living in these socially distant times.

Three of the many questions we’ll be answering in this episode include:

  • How to find new inspiration whilst locked down and working in isolation.
  • What to do with all those projects we were planning on doing before the pandemic began.
  • And how creativity can make an impact in the world around us, regardless of the industry.

Thank you to special guest contributions from:

Elika Gibbs - Stylist. IG: @PracticalPrincess

Dan Shipton - Creative Director. IG: @WeAreBlackSkull

Nicola Larder - Creator, Marcella (Netflix) and Cobra (Sky)

Thank you for listener questions from:

Alexis Strum

Vicky Matthews

Alex White

Andrea Hope

Sydney Ling

Andrey Psyché

Y’all Y’all

Christoper Stanley

Ebony Arwen

Emily Gunawan

Daniel Brookes

Twitter: @danielrbrookes

Instagram: @danielrbrookes

Website: www.unlockingcreativitypodcast.com

Full Transcript


Welcome. Welcome, Welcome toe Unlocking creativity. Take.

The podcast that speaks leading creatives about the breakthroughs that shaped their lives, providing tips, inspiration and the keys to help unlock the fade ideas from with a new.

Hes Your host, Daniel Books.


Back to unlocking creativity. The show that's all about ideas, have more of them out have better ones and how they can change our lives.

As anyone who has listened to the show before, we know I normally go out into the world and interview guest face to face. It is, however, a very different kind of time at the moment. And so I thought I'd bring you a very different kind of show.

Much in the way I'm unable to go about normal service. The story is the same for many people out there at the moment. In times like these, we need to stick together, adapt and help each other.

So I did Was power blast on social media. If you guys to ask any questions you have about creativity in isolation or creative questions in general, and I, along with perhaps a bit of assistance, will help answer them for you in this episode.

If you haven't already them. Pleased to hit, subscribe or follow on whichever platform you're currently listening to. This on on whilst you're there, Please do drop a rating on the review as well as it would really mean a lot.

Three of the many questions will be answering in this episode include how to find a new inspiration whilst locked down and working in isolation.

What to do with all of those projects that we were planning on doing before the pandemic began.

And how creativity comm positively affect the world around us.

Right? Let's get into it. I truly hope that even though these might not be your questions, you'll find some use out of the ideas and solutions that we talked about today to apply to your own life and situation. Right now, if there is anything that you're still like to know or follow up one off the back of this episode, then please do hit me up. You can get touch with me by email, which is info at unlocking creativity, podcast dot com, or indeed, on social media on Twitter and Instagram. I'm Daniel R. Brooks, all details of which could be found in the show description for you to check out. Okay, let's get on with it on with questions on.

The theme.

The first question is coming from Alexis Drum, who's an actress and has recently started a podcast called The Funny Women Survival Guide. In a message, Alexis says that she feels under pressure to create equally some of the projects that she had in mind. Pre pandemic feel irrelevant or slightly tone deaf now? Okay, so what I would say to that is, any project prick over 19 will be relevant again soon. It's best to think of it as the world currently being on pause. Any ideas that you had or have in this time we'll have a purpose again once this is all over, what you should be doing is banking those ideas, getting them to point of where they're ready to go out in the world. On being the 1st 1 out the gate like a like a loaded, her coiled spring ready to go. As soon as they kind of the restrictions are lifted on, normality is restored.

I truly believe that the best thing anybody could be doing in this moment is focusing on their own personal development. Let's be honest here. I don't think many people would be getting a promotion or a pay rise in a time like this. So instead of concentrating on the market, concentrate on your own value within the market once this is over.

For example, if you have a website use this time to improve it. If you've written a book, then Makesem press contacts on. If you are like a business than work on your social media and tap into the community spirit that's out there right now.

Get yourself in the best possible shapes that people want to hire You. People wanna work with you people to collaborate with you. People want to come see you a show, Whatever it may be, just get yourself in that best possible shape.

Case. Next up. We've got two questions that come in a fairly similar, but I'll try and answer collectively. First up is Vicky Matthews, who says that she enjoys writing in her free time, and now it seems like the perfect time to do so. But she's finding it hard to focus. Are there any tips next up? His ex wife, who was sent in a voice smote off his question. Yep, all my.

Creativity is gone. He used to walk to work, and on that walk, my imagination would come up with all kinds of creatures, characters and stories. But now nothing. I think the problem we face is that we can't see the light of the end of the tunnel.

So I don't know what the answer is. Really? Is it hope.

Okay, so I'm calling it a guest. Help answer this one for me. Not just any guests, but the very first person who was ever a guest with me on this podcast, Nikola Lada. At that time, Nickel is best known for creating one of Netflix's biggest hit dramas in the form off Marcello. And since then she's going to create a whole another Siri's at this time for Sky called Cobra on. So I honestly couldn't think of anyone better to help onto this question when it comes down to character development and writing, as that's something that she does so well. So I set the questions over to her, and this is her.


Hi, Dan. Thanks for asking me to take part in your Q and A so it's really hard to focus right now, with the world being upside down. What I've been doing is starting most days with a piece of stimulus that might be listening to a podcast. I'm reading a chapter of a book watching an excerpt of a drama, something really lateral, something kind of just interesting and well done on. Then what I tend to do is and but the up against going on my daily one hour walk, you know, because we're all allowed to get outside and do some exercise, because then what my brain starts doing is filtering the thing that I've listened Teoh rag or watched. And then what will happen is later on through the day, there'll be some sort of eureka moment for me where the thing that I read listened, watched.

Thought about has percolated on dumb turned into some sort of story beat for me. I, like never approach creativity. Straight honors if it's a linear process, Cominat acknowledging that so wiki oir oir wiggly road towards Chris creative success, and then you'll find that moment where you discover the character.

On the just in case you're interested right now, on this moment, I'm working on a female biased mystery show with three unreliable female in the raters, all of whom we like. But we totally mistrust.

On them. I just decided to give one of thumb a very, very unpalatable habit, but I'll leave it there. Damn Hope you're well, speak soon. Bye.


Is Nikola Lada. Thank you so much for that nickel. And I hope that helps answer questions on character development, as Nicolle says, I think definitely making the most off that hour walk that were allowed in a day to do something to stimulate yourself or indeed, starting the day with something different each time on the news right now isn't a great source of inspiration granted. But if you find something that's just is different each day off the SE five days of the working week on just by breaking the routine, it would give you a different data points, then pull from for the rest of that day in that first hour off, your day is arguably the most important. As that sets up in terms of what your mood is going to be, that sets up how productive you're gonna be. That sets up how much your mind is gonna be working for the day. So I think, just make make the most of that first hour. That's the golden hour. Make the most of that before your whole day starts on. The rest of it should fall into place.

The case. Next up, we have a another voice. No, come in from a listener called Andrea Hope and she is a poet. Andrea had this to say.

Hi, Daniel. My name is Andrea Hope, and I am a poet, and I think a lot of us parents right now we're dealing with trying to do work from home while taking care of our Children. So my question is, how do we find time to stay creative during social distant thing without feeling like we're neglecting our kids? Thanks so much.

Thank you, Andrew, for their excellent question. It's my belief here, actually, that I think the solution for you may well lie where you believe the problem is. Let me explain. So I won't even Oji quote from another Albert Einstein, who said that to stimulate creativity, one must develop the inclination to play. And as we know, there's no one who wants to play Maurin this world than kids. So what you have in your hands is actually a whole source off creative knowledge and inspiration. The reason for this is that kids are divergent thinkers on bats, someone who is capable of producing a range of ideas freely without in it in a kind of critic filtering what comes out at the other end, they haven't grown up and been socially conditioned and talked to think rationally. This makes them unpredictable on arguably the perfect source to help generate ideas. There's a really good recent example of this happening, actually, from a musician in the UK called Tom Rozental, who collaborated with his daughter on a song called Dinosaurs in Love. Brilliant, Brilliant Title, and his daughter was free to make up the narrative of the song. She was basically lyricist on. What Tom did in a very professional way was he then created this beautiful piece of music around those lyrics. He had that fusion of young and old in the world through this young girl's eyes, but then laid over a very beautiful, beautiful piano on what was produced with something really distinct and unique. Now I know you're a poet and he's a musician, but that's proof that collaboration between generations come really lead to great creative output. So how about this for a starting point? Andrea, why not have your Children share how they feel about the world through their eyes? Or have them share with words that you can then right around, or have your kids go on a hunt around the house? Each bring you three items that they love, all of which could then provide you ways to break your traditional train of thought and provide a new world to begin telling a story. And writing your poetry in kids are generally a great creative asset, and the more you could involve them in what you do, I think the more radical the ideas will be at the other end of it. And it's not just a one way relationship. I'm not saying just usual kids to nickel of their ideas, so to speak, because I think through this is where your kid to be talked about resourcefulness, collaboration on the biggest one imagination, teaching them to think big and hopefully setting him up to be as creative as their mom as they grow up and continue in life.

Okay, Next up is a brilliant name. Is something called Andre Psyche who has this to say and asked.

Head and no. Ah wanted to hear your take on what creativity actually means in your words, obviously. And if you could talk about the end goal of creativity, what purpose does it serve? And how can we utilize creativity in our lives, not just in art or expression, but maybe even in politics or shaping the structure of our reality as we know it.

So thank you for that question. Andre is it's a really good one in quite complex one on is slightly subjective as well. For me, how do I define creativity? I personally describe something creative as being a balance between two components, those being something that is both novel and useful. And so as long as something has those two components, I think it would generally be considered something creative and hopefully off the back of that, a good idea as well. On what I really want to underline here is yes, creativity can be used for a whole host of things outside the traditional sort arts and media that people might associate normally with kind of being creative. Creativity compute in a whole host of things. Creativity can be used to pretty much change the world in any industry. Whether you work in politics, we work in television or you work in science. If you're coming up with ideas and you're coming up with new thoughts and new ways to approach things and you're creating not just products and creating physical things before creating opportunities for yourself and others, I think creativity is the key to basically change the world.

So, yes, I genuinely think creativity can take many, many forms. Andi, I think people need to start thinking of themselves as creatives.

In whatever they do and how they can change their own circumstances, as well as the circumstances off those around them and how they can just drive the world and the industry there. In Ford's.

The case of the next question, another great name here, listeners. On this show, I've discovered I've got the most amazing names and making me feel very, very plain eso This one comes from a chap Courtyard Ya, who has a podcast himself called Booth in podcast on. He has this question to ask.

Hey, What's up. Unlocking creativity. Podcast. Actually, I have a kind of unique question, but I'm sure your you know your expertise will kind of help address this. I have a free style oriented podcast, which involves telling a story. And then at the end of the episode, I do a freestyle off the top of my head using like a series of note cards with just different topics discussed, and I kind of address them as they pop into my head. I'm 23 episodes into, and I've noticed that certain bars, certain sets of rhymes, flows rhythms kind of seemed to get recycled. Ah, you know, week after week. It's not the same freestyle, but there's just a lot of similarities. So my question is, what would you recommend for trying Teoh approach something in a new way.

You know.

Thanks, Er, er, for that question, free signing is definitely a skill. So in short, what's happening is your falling into repetition in your lyrics, despite it being a freestyle because you're going through the same motions Now, I think there's two key ways to solve this. One of the top on one of the tail. Firstly, I would call a data input issue. So what's happening is you're only ever taking inspiration from the same place to get your first initial words that form in your freestyle four. So, in your message, you mentioned you have these flashcards with subjects on it. But why don't you generate the initial data? That's the first thing. That's the thing that you're working your whole freestyle rap off. So by changing the way that you're sourcing the initial information and getting some different data to work off, off is going to change what subsequently comes off the back of it. Now there's ways that you can do this, maybe something similar to what I've done here. In terms of getting listeners to come in with suggestions of words, you could get words randomly generated. You could flick to a dictionary at random. You could go through your phone book, ask your contact to send you one word, and then you're gonna take thes. You gonna collect them, and you're gonna do a freestyle rap off of that. But I think by random izing the data that you're having in that starting point, it will give you a very different result. Moving forwards. On second of all, I would say that probably in terms of the tail, it's probably cause of the destination you're putting yourself in because you are always delivering your freestyle rap as if you are on doing it on a podcast in the same way I think your grounding yourself in the same world. Whereas if you take yourself away from that world and through imagination, pretend that you were in a different location maybe again, that could be something that suggested by your listeners today You're gonna be in Nashville today. You're gonna be in London today. You're gonna be in New York today. You're gonna be in space wherever it may be, by grounding you in a different environment. Metaphorically speaking, then I think that would also give you a shift in your mindset and give you a whole new dictionary off words toe work off off. And so I think by shifting those two things at the top and the tail will give you drastically different results. But please do give it a try and do let me know how you get on on. As always, I'd be happy to jump on and help you any more if I can as well.

So Sydney Ling's been in touch and asked about how to stay organized when being creative. Now he doesn't elaborate mawr than that which we're gonna come back to shortly. But just I wanted to start by saying the organization is hugely important when it comes to creativity to use a really good broad example. If you think of Apple, which is one of the most creative companies in the world, it also happens to be one of the most organized mass because organization is the force that makes ideas happen. If you think of it as an equation, creativity, times organization, the result. The equals would be impact if creativity is 100 organization is zero than the impact would be zero. It also helps explain why some less abrasive people, perhaps could be more successful with their ideas purely because they're more organized and so have a higher output.

Ah, higher output, of course, means Mawr chance off success. Now Sydney expands on his question by saying that his natural state is quite messy, so off stuff everywhere and things in weird places where he lives with a roommate on the other hand, he was very neat and organized, and Sydney is feeling bad for encroaching on his life with his hobbies, especially since they live in a very small apartment. So he asked, if we have any ideas to solve this and help make their situation a bit better. So for this I'm gonna throw over to an expert. Some may remember Ellicott as a guest from the first series off the podcast. She is known as the boss of all things organization on with her company, Practical Princess, Assorted the Lives or royalty and supermodels like Kate Moss alike. So I put your question to Erica, and she had this to say.

I think the situation that this person fires himself in the first thing I would do you communicate with the other person on May give you those two skill sets can be put together. You know, if you got with more neat freak and then you got the creative kind, somehow you got sort of blend those two together. Let's just take an example just because I'm thinking of it right now. So I'm actually in a lot of organization. My home. So, for instance, all my books that I use for referencing for fashion Orel beautifully organized and put together their around my house so that I can see them. Andi, For me being in a beautiful space, it's really important for me creatively, I think whatever we dough when we're being creative organization for me is key. So what do you on our chest and you've got? You know, certain types of paints or rushes, whatever they are, is sectioning things and putting them together and making sure that your space is clean, neat and organized. And by doing that, you can then make things look more visually.

Appealing and eso if you're living with somebody, I think that sort of helps the burden. If you are working on projects, I would try and sort of say, this is the time to try and finish the project and put it away. By that we become, I think, more respectful to people were living with with getting a sense of achievement, so that, for me, is very, very important.

Lovely. Thank you, Ellicott. There. I think there's some really good points. If you can organize your house to give yourself some visual clues through your belongings, rather than having things say ruled out on a desk or hidden away under tables or covered by other things, have nice things on display that you can look at and can give yourself visual cues to them. Work off is one really good point. I think that make your houses aesthetic and inspiring as possible, especially as we're spending so much time at home of the moment On. Also, that point on collaboration is really good as well. If there's some way to bring in your housemate on this some way to include them in the creative process, then I think that is a really good thing to do as well. So I hope that helps Sydney. And if you'd like to check out more Relic was talking about in some examples over work, then, please, do you head over to her instagram, which is at Practical Princess. On there, you can see everything she's been talking about and maybe pick up some ideas for yourself as well.

Okay, next one coming in. It's a very quick question from Christopher Stanley, who asks, How do you find or maintain motivation for personal creative projects? So there's a saying that I stand by in my creative endeavors, which is always passion yields tolerance on. The reason for that is I think the more passionate you are about a personal project, the more likely it is to see you through those rough patches on those times and other people would give up. I think if you involve people in your personal passion projects that have the same level off passion and drivers you have, then the chances are they're not gonna be there through the When the times get rough, they're going to drop out. They're gonna fall away from that, and you're gonna be the one still standing. And so there are times like in every project. Will there be a plateau in motivation? And that's completely normal Thou happening Probably 95% of projects. The way you avoid the plateau is by keeping it fun and enjoyable for yourself. So I think the more amusement and joy and just just fun that we can incorporate into our creative process and our creative work will foster a greater commitment and progress in the projects that we do as well. So I had announced that for you, Christopher, just keep saying that over in a over again passion years, tolerance, passion, yields tolerant. Make sure it's a project that you're passionate about before even beginning on it. If it's something that you're sort of half baked on and you're not sure about, the chances are you're gonna hit that kind of road. Bump of motivation struggle a lot sooner, A lot harder. It's gonna be it more difficult to overcome. Find something that you're really passionate about, then just commit to it. Go all in on that passion will be what sees you through.

Okay, the next question has come in from an ebony are when nobody asks. How do I overcome the anxiety about what's going on in the world at the moment? It's killing my creative mojo right now. There's two options in the world right now. You can either ignore or amplify the news in order to be creative. I believe a certain amount off shielding from the news. An outside world needs to be done in order to protect our own mental well being, not just creatively, but I would say in general as well.

It's no secret that kind of a side effect of anxiety is that it cripples creativity. It takes over and consumes us, and it doesn't allow our mind or body to do anything else.

But by contrast, and by knowing that we can then also understand that the other side of that coin is when we're in a joyful state and we're really happy and in a playful mood, that's when the best ideas can often come to us. So the solution is that if you need to come up with an idea or be creative than you need to get yourself happy, you know in yourself what makes you smile. It could be exercise. It could be thumping loud dance music or a particular book. Whatever it may be, do it for a period of time before them focusing on creating and your results will be undoubtably on remarkably different.

On. The next question comes from a listener called Emily Gonna one, and Emily asked, Hi, Daniel would love to ask question about creating while being financially affected by Coben, 19. Since love artists are struggling on may have lost income jobs, creating most the time needs some dollars. So how do we overcome this? Thanks, Emily. I know This is a familiar situation for many at the moment, I thought I'd put this one to Dan shipped in from the third episode off the first serious who some of you may remember. He creates stage shows some of the world's biggest music stars on puts on live offense of all kinds across the world with his company, Black Skull Creative. His entire industry has, of course, ground to a sudden halt Because of what's going on. I put your question to him, and here's what he had to say.


I felt better about this is by remembering that everyone's in the same position. You know, we're all we're all struggling. Everyone's in the same boat on that has made me feel a bit better about the stresses that you know we will, going through a small business, owners or or individuals. And so I think when you remember that, that's helpful. I also think that we as a creative community have to look at ways of helping each other on if there's some suggestions that you can make someone, or if there's a way of pushing works on his way, definitely do that black skull. We've bean taking the time to evaluate how our business condemn Elop in its creative offerings to fit into this new world. Because the reality is no one's gonna want a live show from us for a very long time now. So we're thinking, How can we utilize our skills but maybe kind of flipped them in a different way on still brings them working. And even if it's not necessarily bring in loads of cash, it's still scratching. That creative itch that we definitely have on hasn't gone away. Think where. Definitely lucky that a black skull. We're a team on where Team of four people that can share our worries with each other on. But if you're a creative person that works alone, I definitely would advise reaching out to friends in the industry and chatting to them about how they're dealing with things. Because the reality is we're all going through the same thing on. Actually, by sharing that problem, you definitely don't feel alone so much, which is helpful to take some of that stress away. I'm a firm believer. If you've got creativity in your heart or you've got a creative bone in your body just by having these strange parameters. Putting ourselves you will. You definitely will come up with new creative inspirations. And the key to it is stop stressing about it.

Don't force yourself to do it. Just have your moment and it will happen on day. You will be totally surprised exactly like I have seen.

Thank you, Dan. And pleased to go check out his episode earlier in the series. If you would like to find out more about his story, I would also add to what Dan says that creativity is the right tour to be armed with right now. Never forget the creativity is an asset that can be applied in numerous ways. Outside of making something, you create solutions. You can create opportunities and you can create new ways. Generate income. Whatever it may be, it will always start with an idea.

So I hope you enjoyed this special episode off creativity whilst in isolation. It was great to do something different and to connect with you guys. The listeners some more as well. If you found something useful with an please do his subscribe or follow on whichever platform you can't listen to this on on. Please do leave a rating or a review whilst you're there as well. And, of course, shared with your friends. If there's someone who you think would get something out of this, a fellow creative or something, it's just in a bit of a a bit of fun at the moment. Then please do share it with them.

If you have a question that you still feel is unanswered or would like to ask them, please, do you reach out to me? I'm very approachable. You can catch me on email, which is info at unlocking creativity podcast dot com, as well as Twitter or Instagram, where my handle is at Daniel R. Brooks. Never forget the are on the information for that is also in the show notes. If you want to check it there as well, I want to finish by saying that if these tips have helped you, then fantastic. But if you feel unmotivated and uninspired in these times, regardless of any tips and tricks that coming at you, then that is fine as well. Don't feel guilty about this change in times affecting your usual flow. It's completely fine and normal when this is all over and it will be. You'll come out in the world the other side of this, and you'll be inspired and excited about everything around you again. Social interactions would be a joy. Other people's opinions will be challenging on your mind. Work in ways that feel new and fresh curiosity is guaranteed on. With curiosity comes, creativity will come out of this with new ideas. Whether it's now or in weeks to come, Just relax and know that the freedom of movement and thought is just around the corner.

Take care, stay safe and I'll see you soon.

Let your sound be found.

Sign up for our newsletter, and we'll transcribe one episode of your choice for FREE.

Step 1: Find your podcast

Step 2: Enter your email