If you are any kind of creative mind, you know about creative blocks. It’s like writer’s block, only in my (Chelsea’s) opinion, it can seem a little more frustrating. Here are some methods for breaking through the madness of a creative block.
1. Avoid the thing all together — at least for a little while.
If nothing’s coming, stop forcing it. Try doing something monotonous like vacuuming, organizing the garage, working in the yard, or washing your hair. Here in downtown Augusta, you’ll sometimes see me walking down a couple blocks and back. When your brain goes on autopilot, sometimes the best brilliance creeps in.
2. Seek random inspiration
If you’re designing a website, you might be tempted to look at other websites—but take the route of the counterintuitive and avoid the urge whenever possible. Instead, look outside of your field. Who knows what mish mash of great ideas could unravel in your blocked brain from a little unrelated stimulation.
3. Put some fun in your studio/office
Always try to inject some colour and life into your studio, and don’t run it like a clinic or a prison. A boring room doesn’t always help to spark a creative idea.
4. Find some ‘you time’
Working on too many projects at once can stifle your creativity. If you’re feeling burned out, take some time to yourself and turn everything off for a day or two. When I was in college, working as a graphic designer, my creative director would sometimes have to tell me — pull the boss card — to do nothing for a couple of hours (I didn’t understand the value of rest at the time).
5. Get a fresh perspective
View things from different angles. Some upside-down lettering in a stack of papers or a scrunched-up sketch can create unusual shapes and spark off new ideas.
6. Change your surroundings
Get out. Go have a coffee somewhere: sometimes just getting out of the office is all you need, and helps you refocus. Take your laptop and change your environment. If you’re working with a desktop: a notepad and a pen will suffice.
7. Seek feedback from your peers
Designers are often worried about showing unresolved work to others, but I’ve found that getting your peers involved early on in the process can be a great help. Around here, we find that if we’re stuck, talking out loud about what we’re thinking usually leads us to a good destination.
8. Doodle (my personal favorite)
Grab a pencil and a sheet of paper then start doodling. Sketch anything you have in mind. Through this, you can sharpen your drawing skills and your random scribbles might just be an effective ingredient in formulating that kick butt design concept. This is why sketching is always an important factor in every design process.
Do you have any tips or tricks for beating creative block?