On creativity, multidisciplinary adventures, maps, and other nonsense
When the lockdown started I braced myself for what I thought would be an avalanche of dullness. It turns out, the lockdown is anything but dull. Four weeks in and I would rather describe it as a rollercoaster: the big, long, national, emotional rollercoaster.
During the past weeks, I have gone from strange excitement to mild depression, from hypochondriac paranoia to absolute carefreeness, and from downright boredom to unstoppable motivation at least once a day, every day. It is difficult to say whether this big mood-swing that has come to define my life is the cause or the effect of the inventiveness required by the new indoors world we live in. I have painted; badly, but merrily. I have exercised; clumsily, but energetically. I have even tried my skills in the kitchen with my granny’s beef stroganoff recipe, which tasted nothing like the original but was well received by my partner, bless him.
I have painted; badly, but merrily. I have exercised; clumsily, but energetically.
The lockdown, it turns out, is the comeback of the Renaissance Man. We are all trying new things and finally giving free rein to our creative inner selves through any craft that can be undertaken inside closed doors. Some, the painterly Michelangelos, choose photo art and other Instagram related hobbies. Others more akin to the Bernini personality choose sculpting, generally of their own bodies. The beauty of the lockdown is that we all seem to be doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, who knows? Maybe some slumbering geniuses will find their hidden talents during these weeks and we will enter a new era of artistic splendour when the doors to the world open up again.
I, personally, have not been able to commit to any of the high arts yet; instead, I have heard the call of cartography. As an architect, I am more than used to plans and drawings as tools, but I had never really seen them as a goal in themselves until now. Maps are not the sexy, rebellious form of expression that I dreamed of embracing when I was a child but, looking back to my life before confinement, I have always been somewhat fascinated by them. The fact that you can understand a place so well from a point of view so foreign to a land-dwelling creature is at least interesting, and the notion that by understanding a city and being able to draw the whole of it on a piece of paper and own it is, in all honesty, fulfilling.