Creative is not a thing you are, but a way to be in and interact with the world. Amidst an emotional and uncertain backdrop, remember to feed your creative soul with relief, beauty, generosity and possibility.
As we move into Level 4 lockdown in South Africa, our jewellery industry’s hands are still, relatively, tied. Though manufacturing jewellers are entitled to manufacture with a 50% staff complement, no retail or wholesale trading will be permitted, e-commerce or otherwise. Though the Jewellery Council of South Africa is doing everything in their power to urge government to allow our industry’s complete value chain to open in Level 3 — and we hope for the best! — this will continue to be a challenging time for jewellers and our collective enterprise.
There are business practicalities one can take, such as enquiries into emergency funding, benefits from your banking partner and negotiations with all stakeholders. There are personal and psychological concessions one must make, such as recognising and accepting this phenomenal time as what it is; an unprecedented, unpredictable global crisis. All feelings are valid here, and dramatic reactions need not be judged, as we navigate what could turn out to be one of the most uncertain times in our collective lives.
For support, advice, information and humour the internet is an undeniable resource. We hope that connectivity and data allow you to keep connected to loved ones, as well as take advantage of people’s generosity. Because we are, fortunately, in a time of connection. Individuals and organisations across the world are often and readily offering up their knowledge in the form of articles, webinars, podcasts and the occasional hilarious meme.
Sharing is our superpower. This is how we will survive and, hopefully, once again thrive.
As jewellers and creators, who are sure to appreciate beauty and the comfort it affords, remember to gift yourself curiosity and relief in-between work, strategy, life commitments and figuring it all out. There is so much to explore and feed our souls with. By no means an exhaustive list, here are a few thoughts and spaces we find compelling:
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Crafts Digital Archive
UK-based magazine Crafts has gifted free access to its Crafts digital archive until August. Find the link in their Instagram bio. The link may change monthly, so check back.
The V&A have opened up their jewellery collection online. Browse the collection highlights, the seemingly infinite illustrations and discover more about the pieces, the history of jewellery and contemporary jewellers.
Abstract: The Art of Design
Netflix has made some of its documentary films, shorts and docuseries available for free on YouTube, including the incredible Abstract: The Art of Design, a series that follows some of the most intriguing and successful designers and creators whose work has shaped our world. It spans disciplines such as fine art, architecture, typography, costume, stage design and more.
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The Kids will be Alright
Less beauty, but relief. If you are lockdown-childrearing, give yourself a pat on the back and a break, as often as possible. The words of Lindsay Powers, encouraging us to be the world’s ‘most okayest’ parents, feel applicable here.
Give Up Back
Relief, beauty and (re)connection is so often found when we step outside of ourselves and think about what we may offer others, whether it be making a cup of tea for someone we’re isolating with or offering practical or creative help. Jeweller Carolina Bucci’s simple offering of colour therapy may calm minds and keep children’s hands busy. Hundreds of people out there need help in the same (and different) ways in which we need help. Consider who or what has really inspired you in this time, and how you may pay it forward.
If all else fails, and even your Cardio HIIT online workouts aren’t keeping the frustrations at bay, craft a Coronavirus piñata and smash it to bits. Relief in all the right places!
Keep curious and open to the reminder of what matters and why you do what you do. Wishing support and strength throughout this time.
For detailed Level 4 regulations, at the time of posting, please visit the Jewellery Council of South Africa.
For more interesting resources, keep searching, and share it forward on @TheJewellersStory
Keep well, safe and creative South Africa.