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Creatives and Covid-19: How Are Freelancers Spending Time in Lockdown?

Side projects, culinary pursuits and some reflection time are all part of the plan for this photographer.

Will Philip is a Melbourne-based freelance photographer who has shot for Converse, Puma, Crumpler and more. With an increasing number of employees shifting to remote work and Victorians being told to stay home as part of a stage-three lockdown, we spoke to Philip about home life and how creatives can adapt to a new, albeit temporary, freelancing world.

Scout: Thanks for catching up with us, Will. How have you been?

Will: Freelancing means a lot of time at home editing shoots, so I’m somewhat used to spending a few days at a time indoors. I’m pretty confident in knowing what helps keep me on top of my mental and physical health, too. I’m not certain what to make of everything, but there’s no way it’s going away in a week or two and we need to act accordingly.

How’s the transition to life at home?

At this point, not much has changed, besides losing jobs and cancelling some meetings and other plans. We’re still at the beginning of it all, so I don’t think the magnitude of the situation has really hit me yet.

What are the biggest challenges you and other creatives, particularly photographers, are going to face during this period?

I mainly shoot portraits, so for the time being I won’t be able to work on commercial jobs or the personal projects I have started. Right now, I think almost all freelance creatives and those working for agencies or companies will struggle to generate an income.

How do you think you're going to pivot and adapt to get through this, work-wise?

I’ve got two small projects underway that I’ll work on during this lockdown period, with another two ready to go once [those] are completed. I’m going to continue to fine-tune my skill set and hopefully pick up some new skills along the way.

Do you have much of a routine at home yet?

Home life is pretty good for me. We recently purchased a kitten named Bella and she’s keeping me company. Having a big backyard is a blessing, so I’ve been taking some time get some sun and watch the clouds drift by.

[This] week I’ve taken things slowly and let myself be a little lazy. But I’m writing a list of goals to achieve throughout this period and working towards them each day. My housemate also has a huge selection of DVDs so it’s hard to get bored here. Walking every day is still essential.

Any plans to pick up some side projects or other hobbies while you're at home?

I want to see if I can complete a minimum of four projects while we’re in lockdown. I’ll focus on photography, but want to create a fan zine as well. I want to start baking and expanding my cooking skills overall – I attempted protein balls yesterday but they didn’t quite go to plan.

What do you hope people learn from all this?

Hopefully they just achieve whatever they set out to achieve. That could be be slowing down and taking time away from a busy work schedule or being more active in other avenues of life they didn't previously have time for. Now we can appreciate the smaller things around us and learn how much we love our friends and family.

How do you think creatives might respond to spending all this time cooped up?

I hope people look to create work that doesn't directly link to coronavirus itself.

You can view Will’s work here

Photography: Matthew Peter Karak

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