By Cade Martin
As a kid, I spent many a dinner at a table surrounded by friends of my parents, an eclectic cast of characters — sculptors, writers, painters, creatives. That thread of creative community has remained in our offices, our teams, and our collaborations. But that thread feels thinner in this moment.
So I asked, with the purpose of sharing, and of supporting and caring for this creative community in its current, uncertain reality. I asked what people are doing, how they are feeling, how they are sparking creativity. It feels important to share what we do, when we can’t do all our doing.
Reaching out first to some of the talented people I’ve had the good fortune to profile though the Capitol Communicator portrait series. It’s my version of a virtual dinner table of sorts. Grab a chair and listen in to my conversation with Kim Gallagher, freelance writer and creative director.
Kim, what, if anything, are you doing differently?
I am avoiding using the words “uncertain times,” “tone deaf,” and “pivot” as well as any maudlin piano music. I am sharing the WiFi with my husband and college and high school children. We divvy up “quiet zones,” comment on each other’s Zoom calls and get inordinately excited when “Jeopardy” comes on.
Are you staying creatively active?
For the first weeks of the pandemic, I worked from 6 a.m. to midnight helping clients ranging from an international humanitarian relief agency to a national lending institution and a few in between. Every single one of them was trying to do the right thing by their employees and customers — and for the greater good. The adrenaline was rushing, but I was burning out. So I made myself not work a little each day. I gardened. Wrote an article for Medium. Scribbled limericks for friends’ birthdays. Baked “friendship bread” using the starter dough that our neighbors passed around.
How are you sparking yourself creatively?
Besides occasionally watching documentaries about tigers and basketball in the middle of the day? I’m working with a slew of rising high school seniors on their college essays. As colleges announce openings, I feel like it’s a signal that life will go on — not as before, but differently and, in some respects, better. We humans are survivors.
Failing is good for sparking creativity. I was a guest on We Should Talk About That, a favorite podcast of mine, to talk about the University of Corona. After 20 million years of producing radio and sometimes jumping in the booth to do a voiceover, I FROZE during the recording session. Stammered at softball questions. Lost my train of thought. Talked over the hosts. Thank God for editors.