COVID-19 Coronavirus: 5 Things Creative People Can Do During Isolation

Silhouette of a man in front of a white window
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

How quickly things can change. A week ago, I wrote an article that briefly discussed the increasing rates of remote work opportunities. Today, many governments and corporations worldwide are making remote work mandatory for many employees, while the world deals with the rising severity of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you’re like many in the entertainment/hospitality industries, you’ve likely found yourself suddenly without a job. While I won’t make any generalized recommendations in that regard (because everyone’s financial and life situations are unique), this article will highlight 5 things that people with creative talents can do while in isolation as the world fights and recovers from COVID-19.

#1: Build Your Portfolio

If you read my previous post about how creative people can earn new incomes in 2020 (you can read it here if you haven’t), you’ll know that remote freelance work is an excellent opportunity for those with creative skill sets and talents to earn some money. In most cases, however, to be able to find new work and clients, you’ll need to showcase your abilities in a portfolio.

What better time to put one together than right now?

Chances are you’ve completed tonnes of projects (be they publicly available or not) that show off your talents, but maybe you just haven’t put them all together in one place yet. By building a portfolio, you’d accomplish just that, so that with only the click of a button, your next potential employer can see the best of what you have to offer and why they should hire you over someone else.

There are many platforms available on the internet (several of which are free) that you can use to upload your work and showcase your talents and skills in your own unique way. If you don’t know where to start, click on the link below for a list of 9 free websites that you can use to build a great digital portfolio.

Read: The 9 Best Free Portfolio Websites for Creating an Impressive Digital Portfolio

#2: Learn Something New

If you’re anything like myself, any large block of time that frees up in your schedule becomes a great opportunity to learn something new. Whether it be picking up my guitar to learn a new song / technique, scouring the web for information on how to write and develop fictional characters, or taking an online marketing course to boost my credentials, I’m always on the hunt to learn something.

Close up of book labelled Graphic Design
Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

There are a lot of free courses on the internet that can teach you new skills or improve upon existing ones that can help you turn your passion into profits. While the coronavirus has thrown the world into a state of uncertainty, we can still choose to do something positive with the extra time we may or may not have wanted. Why not use that spare time to do something productive?

#3: Share Some of Your Work

Great art is meant to be shared. In times like these, I’m sure, like many others, you could use a break from the constant flood of panic posts and #coronavirus updates taking place on an hourly basis. Instead, why not flood the world with some of your creative work and give others a break too?

The simple act of just sharing a painting you painted, a video or clip of the song you’re working on, or a few pictures you took can be a bright spot on someone’s news feed that is likely otherwise a bombardment of end of the world talk.

Many of us turn to art and music already, so why not pass the buck a little and share some of it?

#4: Find New Inspiration

If there’s one thing I can say about my own creative works, it’s that the inspiration to create them can come from anywhere.

For example, whenever I’m going through a rough patch in life, I typically find a way to write poems or fiction or songs about dark and gloomy things. It’s just my way of processing those events and turning them into something else that’s not so bad. On the flip side, whenever I’m happy, it just seems more natural for me to notice all of the intricate and beautiful details that make living life so great. As a result, during those times, I write about nature or fantasy or other happy stuff.

Two acoustic guitars next to each other
Hello again my friends.

I don’t think I need to state that a lot is going on in the world right now, but it’s not all gloom, death, and disaster… even though there is a lot of that going around too. I’m not going to tell anyone what type of art they should make, how they should feel about COVID-19, or how people and society are acting because of it, nor how they should interpret and internalize everything that’s taking place across the globe. But maybe what’s happening right now inspires you to do something about it in your own creative way, and if it does, that’s never a bad thing.

Creating things is a great way to express one’s self healthily; almost as if it were therapy for our souls.

#5: Create Something

Best used in combination with all of the suggestions above, creating new work is always a good use of your time. The joy that one gets from the process of creating something is worth performing the process itself, let alone all of the other benefits that come from having made something awesome.  

Plain and simply put, the world is a better place when people are creating new things within it. Art, music, technology… all of these things started as ideas in someone’s head, and it’s creative people like yourself that get to shape new ideas into something the rest of us can see, experience, or use.

Man in front of several graffiti paintings painting one of them
Photo by Ari He on Unsplash

That being said, if you’ve got the time, go create something. There’s never a better time than now to do anything… as isn’t now the only time we ever really have?

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” 

Well put, Mr. Vonnegut. If not now, then when?

Creative isolation isn’t all bad

At the time of writing, we don’t know how long or how severe the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will continue across the world. However, we as a species, as a society, and as communities will get through this together. Light has and always will shine through the darkness.

In the meantime, don’t let your life stop or fall victim to panic or depression. These are tough times, but there’s still a lot you can do from home while being a socially responsible person and doing your diligence in keeping the spread of the virus to a minimum.

Go create something awesome, simply because you can. You’ll be glad you did.

3 Reasons Why Creative People Are Getting Paid in 2020

Glass cup of money with stem and leaves growing out of it
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

If you’re the creative type like myself, perhaps you’ve dreamed of one day turning your passions into profits. Just imagine: wouldn’t it be great if your income came from doing something you already love?

Well, today I’m here to tell you that there’s never been a better time to start turning those dreams into reality. Here are three reasons why creative people are turning passions into profits in 2020 and why you can too.

Reason #1:

The High Demand for Creative Content

We live in an extraordinary age: at no other time in history have people produced and digested content as rapidly as we do now. We stream videos on Youtube, browse images on Pinterest, listen to music on Spotify, and read blog posts our friend tagged us in on Facebook. We do this on our phones, tablets, TVs, computers…

The point is: content is everywhere, it’s readily available, we are consuming it daily and are seemingly always hungry for more.

Man looking at tablet with TV screen behind it
Photo by YTCount on Unsplash

What that means, of course, is that fresh new content is consistently in high demand. Now I’m not an economist by any means, but I know that when things are in demand, they’re considered valuable. Enter us creative types, because after all, somebody has to create all that content, right?

The Explosive Growth of Content Marketing

Content marketing is skyrocketing. By 2021, the content marketing industry has been projected to be worth almost $413 billion.

Read: Why Content Marketing is Set to Be an Industry Worth $412.88 Billion by 2021.

Why?

It’s more cost-effective than traditional marketing. It is audience focused. It’s engaging. It builds brand identity, voice, and trust. The list goes on, but big business seems to have finally tapped into the numerous benefits content marketing can offer.

Therefore, the industry is a booming one with no signs of slowing down.

What is Content Marketing?

If, at this point, you’re asking, “what’s content marketing?”, in a nutshell, it is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing interesting (hopefully) content for a targeted audience.

Rather than the traditional method of pushing unsolicited advertisements onto consumers, content marketers utilize intriguing and informative content to pull consumers toward their brand and their products/services. By creating an engaging experience, consumers develop a rapport with the brand and usually end up supporting that brand in some capacity with their wallet.

And, like most things in 2020, most content marketing is predominantly done online.

While I won’t spend too much time in this post exploring content marketing, I’ll give you some quick examples of it. For instance, if you’ve ever:

  • Watched a music video
  • Googled “How to…” for literally any topic and then clicked on a search result
  • Read a blog post (like this one, for example)
  • Followed an Instagram story/account
  • LOL’d at a meme someone shared on your Facebook feed
Cell phone screen with many social media apps and notifications
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

…then you’ve participated in content marketing as a potential consumer. It’s that simple, and it’s that encompassing.

So who’s creating all this interesting content that we share/follow/read/watch?

The answer, if you want it to be, is creative people like you.

Somebody has to write those articles, film those videos, play those songs, take those pictures… you get the drift. Perhaps more importantly, somebody’s getting paid to do it. The good news? You can, too.

There’s a good chance that the creative mindset and skills used to generate all that exciting content are ones you already possess. Whatever your niche is, I can almost guarantee you that the opportunities to use your creative skills professionally within it are growing.

You just have to start looking for them.

Reason #2:

The Rise of Remote Work Opportunities

Perhaps you know someone who works from home. Maybe they’re a full-time parent who still wants to earn an income, or maybe they like having a job without a daily commute. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of benefits to working from home, and it has quickly become a highly desirable option among job seekers.

Many companies have adapted to accommodate and it shows in the numbers. 

***EDIT*** Since the spread of the coronavirus has grown exponentially since the time of writing this post, remote work has gone up with it. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched thought to think that this virus might be a catalyst for more permanent remote work in the future when this pandemic ends.

Young man sitting comfortably on couch working on laptop
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

According to Forbes, there has been a 159% rise in remote working in the US since 2007, and by 2020 it is estimated that half of the UK workforce will work remotely. Last year in 2019 alone, remote working opportunities in the art and the creative sector grew by over 40%.

Read: Is Remote Working Just Another Fad Or Actually Good For Your Business?

Read: 7 Fast-Growing Remote Career Categories

While the reasons for the increase of remote work are various, the biggest reason cited for said growth is simple: a shortage of talent.

Creative People are Talented

Cha-ching!

Enter us creative types once again, because as it turns out, creative people are oozing with talent.

Artist hand drawing art on tablet
Photo by Clint Bustrillos on Unsplash

With years and years spent honing our crafts and developing skills that aren’t easily replicated (as so many of us do in our spare time), creative people are precious in today’s job market, and employers have taken notice.

As the competition for the best talent has become fierce among employers, it’s becoming more evident that the best talent for the job is not always locally available. Accordingly, many employers have taken to hiring remotely to fill these skilled specialty positions.

And like everything, top talent = top dollar, no matter where the source is located.

No Borders For Creativity

Both literally and figuratively, there are no borders for creativity.

With that in mind, the opportunities to turn our skills into cash from wherever we reside are growing.

I’ll give you a personal example: my sister lives in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. She works for a company in New Jersey, just across the river from the Big Apple. She’s never been to company headquarters, and she doesn’t have to go there. She’s a graphic and web-designer and received a referral for the job from a childhood friend who, at the time, was living in San Francisco. Before she took the position, she was working a job in Ottawa that she absolutely hated.

Now? She gets to design things from the comfort of her apartment while enjoying the company of her dog. Sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

Close up of camera in hand overlooking mountain background
Photo by Mohamed Almari from Pexels

As remote work is quickly becoming the norm in the corporate world, people with creative skills will be sought out more than ever. Whether they’re working from an office or their living room, they’re going to get paid for their expertise.

Reason #3:

The Shift Towards Freelancing

With the increasing amount of remote work opportunities and continuous demand for high-quality content, the logistics of working successfully as a freelancer has become easier than ever. Technology has almost wholly put the old business model of face-to-face meetings in its grave, and as a result, many skilled professionals have shifted to becoming freelancers.

EVERYBODY WINS With Freelancing

Savvy companies are switching to hiring freelancers for one simple reason: freelancers, especially those working remotely, save companies a lot of money.

When companies hire freelancers, they are hiring independent contractors. While independent contractors usually are paid well for their efforts, they don’t come with all the attached costs that an employer/employee relationship does.

For example, remote working freelancers have no overhead costs. Employers don’t pay for training, they don’t pay for travel, they don’t pay for office space, they don’t pay recruitment fees, they don’t have to worry about turnover rates, and they certainly don’t pay for the many hours lost to water-cooler gossip sessions.

They pay for results.

This is good news for the talented professional freelancer: better results lead to higher pay rates and better clients. 

Man sitting in front of mixing board, speakers and computer screen
Photo by Tom Pottiger on Unsplash

Quality Work Equals Quality Pay

Freelancing is not an easy road to get started on, but the rewards can be significant. Building a strong reputation is key to attracting high-quality clients, but for talented individuals with some business sense, they can quickly rise above their competition and get paid handsomely for their work.

For example, if a freelancer’s work is good, a strong portfolio marketed the proper way can help drive demand for their services and lead to new referrals from satisfied clients. With an increase in demand, so too increase the rates a freelancer can charge their clients.

Though it varies depending on the type of work, many established freelancers are paid well over $50 an hour for their services.

What makes the pot even sweeter is that most skilled freelancers use their time effectively, which means they can comfortably take on more jobs or be pickier about the ones they take.

In 2020 Time Is Not Money

The days of merely trading time for money are disappearing in the skilled workforce. Employers want high-quality content when they need it, and they’re willing to pay for it wherever they can get it.

As creatives types, we’ve already put our time in: we’re writers because we already write a lot, painters because we already paint a lot, photographers because we already take a lot of pictures.

In 2020 the new way of trading won’t be time for money; it will be skills for money. We’ve already got those in spades.