The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has shaken up our world as we know it. Essential places like federal services, restaurants, and supermarkets are the only places that are open at the moment. Remaining in one’s humble abode by stay-at-home orders have been issued. Homes have now become classrooms and offices for students and non-essential workers. Freelancers and small businesses have a main area of concern as they solely rely on their work and establishments for income. The future’s uncertainty and abrupt changes to our everyday life are not easy to deal with as it has affected people mentally and creatively. During this time, I decided to reach out to nine female creatives in fashion, art, and music to hear how they’ve been coping with this new norm. I wanted to utilize this transparent moment with these women women so they could voice their feelings and inspire other women who may be feeling the same way.
After countless emails and DMs on Instagram, here’s what they had to say about how the quarantine has affected their creativity and what they’ve been doing to stay positive in the midst of this situation:
Olivia, Designer of LIV Streetwear (@liv4olivia)
“During this time I’ve been working on myself. A friend, Anthony Prince, included me into this group called 21 days of abundance, it allowed me to really focus on my life overall. My golas and I was able to cleanse from past traumas and experiences. With having anxiety it was exciting to have something to exert my energy every morning. I also watch church online with Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church, it’s always a blessing.
“I’ve been doing my own hair too! Well learning the best that I can. It has been an amazing journey truly. Most of my life someone else did my hair whether it was my mom or a beauty salon, so I’m excited that I can finally learn on my own.
“Lastly but certainly not least, I’ve been working on my company, LIVSTREETWEAR. We’ve been trying new things like Quarantine Friday, a special item will be half off for the entire day. We also will launch the Live N’ Cozy Sessions with people that support the brand, they will be able to showcase some new talent learned or perfected during this “stay-at-home” time. We were able to learn about what our customer wanted to see by sending a survey to see how they viewed us.
“I’m prepared for the blessings that are coming my way. I feel like I’ve been asking alot from God however I wasn’t fully prepared to receive it on my end. All in all, I’m excited! This is my time to restart and stay positive.“
Lissette, Influencer (thatsso.lee)
“Well even though being trapped inside definitely sucks, it has given me the chance to focus more on my projects. So far I’ve been staying up late just brainstorming ideas and I have so many ideas for shoots that I can’t wait to bring to life once this is all over. Being that I’m normally always on the go with my everyday routine, taking a break and being able to sit down has allowed me to put more energy into coming up with content. I even took up a new hobby of graphic designs. This has also given me a lot of time to get myself together mentally, really just me figuring out what I want to do with my life, what do I want my platform to portray, what are my goals, etc. This PAUSE on life has finally pushed me to go back to school so, I enrolled for the Fall of 2020 to finish my bachelor’s in doing what I love which is fashion.“
Veronica, Blogger (@brooklynnpetite)
“The stay at home orders has definitely affected me creatively. I’ve been struggling with what and how to create, I have my moments where I do end up creating something but they have been very sporadically. Video content is easy but trying to figure out outfit pictures/post has been hard. I find that posting throwback photos has been easier to post and give me some type inspiration to create.
“Work has been a little slow lately, brands are still trying to figure out which directions they want to go in. Locking in deals hasn’t been a success since quarantine. I haven’t really been focus too much on that, I can’t control what’s happening, I’m just making the best out of it by answering my work emails, taking calls and setting up meetings. I’m using all this free time to decorate my room, revamping the website and brand.
“The quarantine ha definitely changed my view on work, my health and my mental health. I took some things for granted and haven’t been taking the best care of myself. This has taught me about my eating habits, how to cook. I’ve been doing more of my meditation, and yoga; I felt like my work life was so busy before quarantine, I didn’t find the time to do it. I’m practicing more gratitude, the first two weeks of quarantine was rough for me and my mental health. I suffer from depression and being back at my childhood home has affected me with all the childhood memories trauma. My uncle also passed away and not being able to see him because of quarantine was extremely rough for me and my family. Thankfully, we pulled it and are just trying to take it day by day with the new normal the whole world is experiencing. I can’t wait for everything to open up again, but I know that will take time.“
Evanda, Designer of ONE/ONE (@_evanda_)
“In New Zealand we are on a level 4 lockdown for 4 weeks, which has been an interesting time for me creatively. I am still working at my day-time design job just at home. Because stores are shut, this is forcing my designs and projects to be more resourceful than ever, using only what I have. Wherever you are, now is a great time to make the most of your craft whatever it is as long as you can stay home while doing it.”
Rudie, Blogger of Rags By Rue and Stylist (@rudieeeeeeee)
“My name is Rudie Della, many people call me Rue. Some of you may know my fashion blog page on Instagram, Ragsbyrueee. I decided to join in on some of this Quarantine fun with Morgan for Pretty Phresh because I love the message that she portraying. I also think during quarantine, it’s important to not lose yourself and to use this time to recharge and reflect on what has been going on and to prepare for your first steps back outside.
“For me, I have been fortunate enough to still work my 9-5 remotely. I found it pretty difficult the first couple of weeks to find a schedule outside work. By difficult I mean I didn’t really move from my bed. However, scrolling through my twitter timeline was not helping much of anything; the news is depressing and my timeline was dry. After many meshed together days, I decided that I wanted to kickstart this new hobby of mine, sketching. I’ve come to find that I’m not half bad for someone who has never taken drawing seriously, I’ve also discovered that I’m a quick learner. I’ve challenged myself to sketch at least once a day and to make sure that I learn a new technique as well. Creatively I feel like I have my good and bad days. Sometimes I want to create sets and draw all day, other times I’m over the entire quarantine life.
“What I’ve found that helps me is literally taking it a day at a time. I’ve also gotten into meditating and centering my thoughts and learning about aligning my chakras. I’m super new to this but I believe it’s important and beneficial for my mental. My friends and family have been on a roll with researching herbs and vitamins that boost and build your immune system. We’ve been sharing information and products to buy that can assist with your overall health, which is dope. I think this is the most important time to get serious about your overall health and to maintain this standard moving forward.“
Radiance, Artist (@rxdixnce)
“To be honest, the stay-at-home orders haven’t affected me negatively at all so far! If anything, it enabled me more. Before, I felt I had so many other things to do, it was a bit hard making time to be creative. Now, I feel like I have all the time in the world. I can see how it could drain someone’s creative energy, having to stay at home though. Especially if they’re not used to staying home this long! I grew up homeschooled and work from home too. My classes were online, before all this started as well! Though, I don’t usually stay at home THIS long, I think I’m a little more prepared for it than others!
“The way I spend my time is virtually the same as before the quarantine. I’ve been making goals to complete before the quarantine is up. I want to get 10,000 followers on Instagram and 5,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I think having goals is very important to me at a time like this, so I can have structure in my life. I’ve also reorganized and redesigned my bedroom, and I spend an unhealthy amount of time of twitter LMAO. I know a lot of people around me are saying you should be productive right now. You need to start a business, you need to organize your whole house, you need to start working out to get your dream body, etc. No, you don’t. You can spend this quarantine however you like. If you want to binge five shows over the course of three days, you can. For some people, it’s the perfect time to work on things they haven’t had time to do, and for others, it’s a perfect time to take a much needed breather. Just remember to take care of yourself! Stay hydrated, healthy, and safe!“
Aviance, DJ and Creative (@ecnaiva)
“I can honestly transitioning into this new norm and state of the world has been a true experience. My mindset and transition has completely changed and I would’ve never expected it to be this way honestly. Being a DJ and artist, trying to elevate in my career and my other creative endeavors reflecting my brand (i.e. boygirl collections) can be complicated when everything is closed and un-motivating. At first, I found it challenging trying to figure out how to live life without thrifting, or going to Michaels for my arts and crafts, or taking losses on the DJ events that had to get cancelled. In terms of my creativity, it’s all about innovation, I use the resources I have around me, even what’s available, to use my time wisely and artistically. I finally have the time I never had to do my hobbies. I allot my task everyday so I can make mixes, jewelry, collage, or even do some interior designing in my apartment. I even decided that I’d start doing Instagram live DJ sets which I did for the first time on Easter, a true experience. After breaking the ice with that, I want to make it a weekly thing to continue to have content! I think during this time it’s important to remember that there isn’t something you need to be doing. Simply making sure your internal and external well being is healthy and happy is the most important. I do my daily rituals of yoga, detoxes, and herbal tea time with meditation to keep a clear mind. Since my final semester as a senior at VCU is coming to an end I’ll definitely be even more of a free spirit to be able to be even more available to show the world what I’ve been ready for them to see!“
Brianna, Stylist and Social Media Consultant (@briannamonea)
“Social distancing has been rough to say the least. We live in a world where our society is based off social interaction – which includes EVERYTHING we do. Overall, I’m grateful to be in the position that I am and not have to worry/stress over the basic necessities (food, a place to live, etc). as some people aren’t that fortunate. But it would be crazy to say I don’t have my days where I wish I didn’t have to leave the house without a mask and gloves, and worry that touching my face could leave me in the hospital. I definitely didn’t think this would be our reality in 2020.
“As it’s been over a month of being in quarantine here in Los Angeles, I’m still figuring out how to cope with this new normal. Everyday is a challenge. I’ve been trying to be positive, productive, and believe that everything happens for a reason. I work as a social media consultant & stylist, so for me I’ve been keeping myself busy with work. Other days I’m taking walks, catching up with family/friends, online shopping, reading, & a lot of self care. I’m just trying to keep a positive energy.
“From a creative standpoint, this new normal has granted me a lot of time to think, reflect, and just be. When it comes to fashion I get really inspired by what I see. Usually that’s influenced by the environment I’m in, being around other people, traveling, etc. Since that physically can’t happen, it’s taken a toll. Some days I find myself not even wanting to create content because it feels like it’s no point, other days I think of ways I can be creative at home and really work with what I’ve got. It’s definitely been days of feeling unmotivated, lazy, and just not wanting to be bothered doing anything.
“What has helped me continue to do what I love and create is just remembering that it’s normal to feel all of these emotions. It’s normal to have days of being really excited to create and style a new look, and days where I just want to lay on the couch and watch Netflix. Do Both. For me, the most important thing is to keep going…no matter what. I know that once this is over, I’m going to continue to go harder then ever before because you never know. I’m not gonna sit here and say I haven’t taken things for granted because I have, we all have. But now, I try and take things one day at a time, and enjoy the moment, because time is something we can’t get back. For any woman who is experiencing the same thing, my best advice is to keep going…keep grinding…& never stop. Cherish your time. Let this situation make you stronger, & grind even harder once we come out of this to create the life you’ve aways wanted for yourself. No matter what, never stop doing what you love.“
Alexis; Stylist, Model, and Creative Director (@lextheplantmom)
“In order to keep busy and productive during this time I’ve been working on small projects, watching movies, doing some arts and crafts, and organizing myself. I’ve also been allowing myself to relax and just take a break from everything! I feel like that’s especially important. It can definitely feel like we’re not doing enough when we’re home all the time, but it’s important to give yourself a break- it will help you be more productive later on. I try and keep a general schedule throughout the day, nothing in stone, but it helps me stay focused and feel like I have a bit more control. I’ve also been meditating in the morning and evening. It’s still been a bit hard for me to adjust, especially because you can feel everyone’s energy is not a good place, due to the circumstance. It’s definitely a tough time, so it’s super important to keep talking to love ones and friends, and stay positive!“
One thing I collected from each of these amazing women was: stay positive. I know it is easier said than done, but you have to remain positive in this situation. Also, take care of yourselves. It is so important to stay healthy mentally and physically. Lastly, do not let social media nor anyone else tell you how you should be spending your time at home. If you want to pick up a new hobby, do it. If you want to just rest, do it. Do what you makes you happy during this time.
We hope you Phresh Babes continue to stay safe and healthy along with practicing social distancing during this time.