The physical world may be quieting down as we hunker down and retreat, but in some ways it feels just as noisy and overwhelming - inside our homes and inside our minds. It's hard not to comb through the onslaught of daily online news feeds and to stay away from all the conversations that have now moved online, as we struggle to remain productive and socialize.
Many artists and creatives are wondering how to create and share their work with audiences in this new normal, if they even have the luxury of doing so, without having to worry about whether or not they can pay their bills. It's in times like these that we are forced to step back and assess what really matters in the grand scheme of things. It's something that I've been struggling with myself ever since the COVID-19 crisis escalated to quarantine-levels and heightened lockdown. Particularly knowing that even when we come out of this (with no clear end in sight), our economic and societal structures will be fragile and in need of slow rebuilding. What was normal before will have evolved and we will be living in "post-COVID" times.
Regardless of how we are to proceed with self-promotion and marketing our work, one of the fundamental cornerstones of personal branding is knowing your values and how you want to express and communicate those values to the world. The time is now to re-examine your values. Carve out some time this week and consider the following:
Who are the people you most admire? What are the keywords you would associate with them, that attract you? See if you can distill the values they personify
Pay attention to the negative voice inside your head. In what moments and circumstances does it rear itself up? Conversely also pay attention to when you are most happiest. In what moments and circumstances does that occur?
If you have one, re-examine your vision board (if you don't have one, now is a great time to get started). Does it still represent what you want out of your life? Do you still feel inspired looking at it? If not, consider what visual images or even quotes do make you feel good
Try this values exercise
These are not normal or ideal circumstances, but if there was ever a time to reexamine your life, it's this one. It may mean a complete change or even re-brand into who you are as an artist, which can be intimidating. I know for me it is. We get comfortable with the routines that we develop for ourselves; no one wants to make a U-turn unless circumstances require it. My biggest advice for you at this time, while I figure it out myself, is to take your time, and take it day by day.