Six Ways to Cure Your Creative Block
Creative Block. A designers nightmare, a total lack of inspiration, a dead end. As a designer, there is bound to be a time when the going gets tough and the ideas aren’t flowing. Here are a few tricks that help us take back our creative edge and keep us productive.
Sketch It Out
Everyone has a different creative process, and each project can take a new path creatively. Maybe you always start with drawing, or maybe you go straight to the computer. We have found that returning to the drawing board (literally in this case) can bring a new spark to the project.
Seek Out Inspiration
Collect a wide range of images that you feel are even loosely related to the project (or even totally unrelated, but just inspire you). The beauty of the internet is that it’s infinite, which means there are always more places to find inspiration. When stuck, go back to places we love (design blogs, hiking & outdoor photography, cartoons, instagram) and just soak it all in.
Take A Break
Sometimes the best & most productive way to work is to not work at all. Step away from the computer, sketch pad, phone, and co-worker chatter. Take a walk around the block, grab a coffee, ride your bike, and enjoy the day. Stepping away will give your mind a chance to rest and refuel.
Sleep On It
Powering through with no luck all day? Quit doing that, go home, and go to bed. Put the project away for the day and come back to it tomorrow. For some odd reason, when we go to sleep, our brain can just keep on working. Occasionally, this means that a problem you had today will have a solution when you wake up tomorrow.
Sometimes you can’t afford to wait another day, or maybe this is your only project at the moment. So your best option seems to be just keep pushing along. That can work too! Try taking every idea you’ve had as far as possible. If you have 12 ideas that are sitting at 40%, get each of them up to 95% and see what happens.
Break It Down
This approach works best with projects that have a whole laundry list of restrictions. Instead of focusing on ideas that hit every single one of the clients rules, let your work run free. Remove all restrictions from the project and creative whatever comes to mind, even if it wouldn’t work at all. Once you have a few ideas you’re excited about, start applying the rules back in and see what happens.