NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Limited resources: Making the most with what you have

As if the pandemic and social distancing wasn’t enough, it seems like even our resources are growing scarce. Things have been tough lately and we all may not have access to everything we once did. With unemployment rates higher than ever, a lot of creatives are struggling and are very much on a budget.

Over the last year (Happy Birthday Covid), the Covid-19 virus has continued its spread, and our worlds have become smaller. Working from home went from a novelty, to the norm, given you still have a job. Travel for pleasure, once normal, has become a thing of fairytales. Spending time with friends, having photoshoots, going to our favorite bookstores/cafes— the list of things we can’t do, and shouldn’t do, is endless.

Being cooped up for months on end can definitely have a negative impact on our creativity, and also on our pockets. With the quarantine restrictions slowly being lifted, creatives (such as myself) have been slowly coming out of their caves in search for human connection, and most importantly, bookings.

Being socially distant is bad enough, but not having the resources you need to create is far worse than being alone. A lot of creatives have used their time in quarantine to sharpen their skills and focus on their craft, but not everybody has been that lucky. A lot of us need physical materials to do what we do, and most of those things are not cheap. Unemployment has been at an all-time high this past year, and a lot of those people are self-employed creatives.

Whether those materials be film for photographers, paint and canvasses for studio artists, or ceramics for sculptors, we have all been struggling to get what we need to create.

The pandemic, according to Natalya Crespo, a photographer and NECC Student “has affected my photography to the point where I no longer do it as a business.” For a lot of us, this pandemic has paused a lot of our self-employed businesses. “It’s hard because I’ve lost that source of income” says Crespo.

Crespo is also a writer, and she’s struggled with finding new ways to interview people, especially since she can no longer meet people in person. She realized that she now has to tackle these issues from a new angle.

“There are so many creatives out there that had to do different things, and some even stop what they’re doing, and they’re out of work, and how are they making money? How are they doing things? So I went at that angle, and that actually taught me how to do my own craft when I don’t have all these resources that I had before, and I learned how to use what I already have” she says.

It’s tough not having access to the things that you need to do what you need to do, but we must all learn how to adapt and figure out new ways to get things done. As a creative, it’s important to be able to not be stuck to only one way of doing something.

“I should’ve done it before all of this, but now I have that. I’ve been going outside (because I can still go outside) and just taking photos, looking around, and finding new things. It’s less of an experience, but there’s also more time to think, and more time to broaden my imagination. So, yes…there’s a lot of changes, but it doesn’t mean that its bad. Not every change is a bad change.”

As she said prior, sometimes change isn’t always a bad thing, as we can truly learn more about ourselves.  Sometimes we realize that less, is truly more.