We have all experienced it, those times we feel completely void of all creativity. Those times when you don’t think you could even muster up the creativity to draw a stick man. While these times may feel a bit overwhelming and impossible to escape, there are a few things you can do to help git rid of that creative block. So grab your phone because as soon as you do a few of these suggestions your muse is gonna be calling.
1. Change of Scenery
This is probably one of the most staple ways for me to personally break a creative block. I find that doing something as simple as walking the dog or going to gym for 30 minutes can really help clear my mind. It is often during these times that I have my creative epiphany almost minutes after taking part in this method.
2. Look Elsewhere for Inspiration
If you are a web or graphic designer, you probably have an abundance of gallery sites and designs you like bookmarked on your computer. While these are great places to find inspiration, sometimes they aren’t enough. If I am really stuck on a design, I like to go the book store and browse some magazines and books. After spending a decent amount of time in the book store, I find myself full of all kinds of new ideas, both for the project at hand other projects.
3. Work Somewhere Else
Sometimes sitting in front of your computer at your desk day in and day out can become a drag and really dampen your creativity. When this is the case, I have found that just moving to a new work location can do wonders to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes this can be as simple as working in another room of the house. Other times it might be nicer to get out of the house altogether and go work at the park or coffee shop. If you are stuck in an office and dont really have the ability to leave, try working somewhere you don’t normally; like under your desk, or on top of it.
4. Brainstorm with Others
Often if I get stuck in the middle of a project and can’t seem to find whats missing or how to spice things up, I’ll ask for others advice. Sometimes I start by asking people who aren’t in the design industry. This can sometimes result in some unique ideas, but mostly it makes me want to shoot myself. Next I’ll send my design over to some design buddies who’s opinion I value and brain storm some ideas with them.
5. 10 Minutes On, 10 Minutes Off
This method might sound a bit strange at first, but when it works, it REALLY works. The idea here is to work on your project for exactly ten minutes. As soon as that ten minutes is up, you have to get up and walk away for ten minutes. Ideally these short creative burst will keep your creativity flowing longer, and the breaks will help you come up with ideas when you can’t be working on the design.
6. Go Eat
When working from home, I find that I often pass on meals and snacks a lot more than I would if I worked at an office. This lack of body fuel can wear down your energy and mental levels more than you know. If you are finding yourself blah and no motivation to work on a project, get up and fix a snack or light meal. Try eating foods that provide lots of energy. Avoid eating foods that give you that “after Thanksgiving” feeling or take long to digest, as these will just make the blah feeling worse.
7. Work on One Piece at a Time
Starting a project from a blank screen can be a bit overwhelming. I find that even if I have a good idea of what the client wants visually and have a wireframe drawn up, starting the project in Photoshop is still a bit intimidating. Rather that start the “whole” design, I will start on a small part of the design. Rather that start with the header or background graphics, I might start with the subscription box or footer area. I find this is a little less intimidating and doesn’t really slow down the design process any. If I end up not liking the style, its ok, because I don’t have a lot invested in it.
8. Just Stop What You are Doing
This is something I don’t do enough. Sometimes when you aren’t in a creative mood, the best thing to do is just stop and do something else. I find this hard to do, because when I’m working on designing something and just don’t like anything I come up with, I find it hard to stop. I just keep going and going. I have no doubt that this is wasted time and creativity, but its hard for me to stop. That said, if I had the will power, I would stop more often.
9. Do a Tutorial
Sometimes not having to think about design while actually designing can be a great way to clear your head. It makes you feel as if you are doing something productive and learning. But, because you are just following step by step instructions, you don’t have to use your creativity to come up with ideas. Since you aren’t stressing out about colors and placement, your mind becomes free and able to be more creative.
10. Your Ideas
I have shared with you my 9 ideas on how to beat creative block, but now I want to hear what you do. What methods have you found to be the best way to get over creative block? Likewise, is there anything you have tried that just didn’t work at all? Share you thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!
All photos have been purchased from Shutterstock