Solitude Sparks Creativity?

In this new age of social distancing, many of us are yearning for community. While Brightonians are thankful that many of us are able to work from home, the environment shift is an adjustment. Late last year, our colleague, Brighton art director Emily Congdon, answered Tina’s sabbatical call to submit an essay answering, “How would you spend an extra week of vacation and $1,500 in cash?” Emily responded that she would use her sabbatical to enjoy solitude and to use that alone time to focus and spark creativity — goals we all suddenly share.

“Mountain air and quiet have a way of slowing the mind, leaving energy to look at things in a different way,” Emily stated in her sabbatical submission. “Creativity requires open spaces — the freedom to explore any outcome without fear of mistakes.”

A Colorado cabin served as Emily’s retreat, affording her close proximity to nature and a distraction from everyday chores. This “allowed the artist brain to focus on innovation.”

Emily used her retreat to hone skills (illustration techniques) and learn new ones (lettering, painting).

While our collective quarantine hardly constitutes a “retreat,” it does provide time to learn a new skill, whether by taking an online class, learning from YouTube or simply getting in more hands-on practice.

We appreciate Emily’s takeaways from her solitude in Colorado. “I’ll rest well and calm the noise, gaining the energy and skills to spearhead bigger and more original projects,” she promised in her application. “I’ll come away with the habit of creating something small for myself every day. It’s these little, daily acts of creation that summon new ideas —inspiration on tap.”

Comforting words, as Brightonia temporarily shifts from an office structure to a home office.