72andSunny Amsterdam’s Gregg Clampfer reflects on the silver linings of life inside
I presented a script for a Coca-Cola campaign about 15 years ago. In it, a guy drank a Coke and then performed an act of positivity.
And then that person gave their infectious positivity to a stranger, and so on and so forth until positivity spread all over the globe. I called the idea, “Pandemic of Positivity”.
In hindsight, and now witnessing a global pandemic first-hand, the idea was not well-conceived and made light of pandemics in the name of a bit of cheap alliteration. I like to think I have learned from my transgressions, so when I was asked, “Is there a positive spin on the issue of boredom and working from home?” I recoiled a bit.
But after a few weeks at home with three kids and a wife, all of whom are dealing with their own work and descents into madness, I do understand the search for an upside. I’ve tried to remind myself that being creative is about working within constraints to come up with something interesting. So how do I make the most out of my time and this constraint? Here are a few personal coping mechanisms I have been employing:
The 70 / 30 Rule (70% Producing to 30% Consuming ratio)
Of course, I love watching series, YouTube, listening to podcasts and music and reading about impending doom. But I try to find an outlet for all the inspiration on a daily basis. Through my work stuff, and in between the work stuff - drawings, poetry, typography, writing jokes, shooting and editing short films and creating my own series. I made this hand washing video with Melissa.
And finished this podcast edit I started but hadn’t released. And I am filming the next episode of SmellsLikeSmells, a series where I smell things. There’s plenty of designers and music companies around with less workload than normal, so I have been reaching out to collaborate with them as well. Make more than you consume.
I am a self-diagnosed Lazy Obsessive-Compulsive. Now, when there’s so much out of my control, I’ve found a lot of satisfaction being at home and being able to confront/clean things I would normally look past. One day while emptying out the vacuum cleaner I noticed the bottom of the trashcan was dirty. So I cleaned that, and then cleaned the inside of the Dyson vacuum cleaner head. I may have also cleaned the inside of the toaster. And washed the stairs. Twice. And reorganised my closet.
Finding New New
I never drank White Russians before. I never tried physical therapy for my knee before. I never watched the Sky show ‘Portrait artist of the year, 2020’. I never did karaoke on a Google Hangout before. But I have done all of these new things in the past week. New is new.
Without sounding like a Coke commercial from 2005, I am trying to embrace what’s happening.
To embrace staying inside, and trying to stay sane, but also, acknowledging that getting a little weirder might be what we all needed anyway.
Good luck. Godspeed.
Gregg Clampffer is a writer and creative director 72andSunny Amsterdam.