The memory of this particular leap year will be framed by great and unexpected loss--heightened by the economic effects of COVID-19 in the dismantling of livelihoods and streams of income due to social distancing mandates. In the shock and panic from news coverage and the growing restlessness from self-isolation efforts, there has been an urgency to return to business as usual. Despite the disruption and unease, however, for many artists and creatives, self-isolation has served as an incubation period for creative exploration, experimentation, and evolution in the production and distribution of their work—allowing time for quality assurance in the strengthening of their platforms. As the virus becomes contained, and markets attempt a return to normalcy, how can artists #KTSE and retain the exploratory outlook gained amidst the disruption of the economy and leap ahead from the habit of creating as usual?
The key to retaining a leap-ahead mindset lies in the ability to recognize the inherent value and opportunity within disruption and change and their role in creativity in facilitating evolution. For artists and creatives, there can be a tendency to return to the normalcy of convenience in the remembrance of the net gain associated with retreading familiar creative and a reliance on old, and possibly outdated, business models, despite evidences of an ever-changing marketplace.
Christ provided numerous insights towards adapting and retaining a leap-ahead mindset, in the following parable he used to address questions regarding the disciplines of his disciples:
“You don’t tear a piece off a new coat to patch up an old coat. If you do, you will have torn the new coat, and the piece of new cloth will not match the old. Nor do you pour new wine into used wineskins, because the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins! And you don’t want new wine after drinking old wine. ‘The old is better,’ you say.”
In the desire for normalcy amidst the current chaos and change taking place within the marketplace, for artists, the old way of creating and sharing art can taste better, due to the fermentation of profits and praise gained over time. The convenience of old methods and messaging may suit the palate artistically and business-wise, but may not lend itself to the change required to achieve artistic and professional growth and longevity.
Leaping forward into new methods and landscapes requires a confidence, humility and knowing that can be found under the guiding light and intuit of the Creator, as the author of creativity, through meditation and prayer—as well as the practice of immersion and objectivity.
The effects of the light of his intuit are documented throughout scripture, and are specifically visible in the disruption that resulted from the people of Israel’s liberation from the normalcy of their enslavement in Egypt, as he led them towards the land of Canaan, which he promised them, as their new home. In the process, their journey to Canaan would be used to demonstrate the creative power and sovereignty of the Creator, in the multiple miracles experienced upon and after their escape, as recounted in the following psalm:
“When the people of Israel left Egypt,
When Jacob’s descendants left that foreign land,
Judah became the Lord’s holy people,
Israel became his own possession.
The Red Sea looked and ran away;
The Jordan River stopped flowing.
The mountains skipped like goats;
The hills jumped around like lambs.
What happened, Sea, to make you run away?
And you, O Jordan, why did you stop flowing?
You mountains, why did you skip like goats?
You hills, why did you jump around like lambs?
Tremble, earth, at the Lord’s coming,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who changes rocks into pools of water
And solid cliffs into flowing springs.”
For many artists, the current challenges and chaos of the marketplace hold multiple opportunities for the creative power and mentorship of the Creator to be demonstrated through renewed creative narrative and innovation. In continuing to utilize and incorporate self-awareness and self-isolation as tools towards reinvention, artists can increase their creative and business dexterity within their given industries—allowing for the refurbishing of knowledge and acumen.
When artists and creatives cultivate and retain a leap-ahead mindset through periods of normalcy or chaos, it provides a conduit for the creative power of the Creator to auto-update their platforms, as needed, providing the insight and intuition that are instrumental towards effective creativity.