When we started working from home this past March, I never imagined that the months that followed would oblige our team to flex our creative muscles in ways we didn’t quite anticipate, and produce some humbling moments along the way. But as someone who’s become accustomed to change—immigrating to Canada and overcoming mental health setbacks—I felt somewhat equipped to face the uncertainty, or at least attempt to weather the storm with some confidence and grace.
Having had severe OCD as a kid—something that, unfortunately, went undiagnosed until I was a young adult—I was faced with a bit of a rude awakening during this pandemic. Obsessive habits and patterns that I’d fought hard to curb resurfaced as a result of the safety precautions we were all ordered to follow. From disinfecting my disinfectant to compulsively washing my hands as an image of Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Howard Hughes in The Aviator hovered above my head, I felt I was tiptoeing back into the stifling darkness that I had fought so hard to escape.
And while attempts to alleviate my woes with cooking, small home projects, and transforming my living room into a makeshift Pilates studio helped momentarily, I knew I had to confront my OCD the same way I did the first time around: by refocusing my energy on things that make me feel grounded.
This meant listening and meditating to music without distraction (my best friend and I devised a 34-hour-and-counting quarantine playlist of songs that boast the best lyrics), reading books I hadn’t had the time to finish, and watching films that inspired my mind to travel in the absence of actual travel.
For our summer issue—our first digital issue—we wanted to see how our frequent collaborators’ creativity took shape during a time when it wasn’t business as usual. It was important for us to showcase the determination of artists we admire, and the results—which include Leeor Wild’s Zoom cover shoot with Joey King, Nadia Gohar’s dreamy sculptures, and Talvi Faustmann and Simone Otis’s remote beauty shoot—are proof that creativity is not beholden to a certain structure, and can adapt and inspire in any circumstances.
And as we enter a new phase in the pandemic, we renew our commitment to create inspiring, honest content, and will continue to persevere no matter what the coming months present. We hope you and your family keep well and enjoy the shoots and features we created during this unsettling and eye-opening time.