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Overcoming Creative Block

"Inspiration is intangible: you can't do it on purpose." - Alex Trochut, Illustrator

Creative Block… We all get it. Out of nowhere it will show its creepy head and block the straw of your creative juice. Here are my tips on how to overcome this annoying phase and unlock your creative mind.

  1. Research. Check out other designs done online. Never plagiarize of course. But study how a person designed their artwork; learn the process of thought, the concept and the color palates. Look at things that will make your mind happy. If you are stuck at designing a logo, you do not necessarily need to search for logos. Check magazine covers, creative packaging solutions and even TV commercials. You can not control your inspiration but you can motivate it. Anything that makes your creative mind happy will eventually unlock the door and let you in.

  2. If research didn’t help, don’t kill yourself. It happens. Sometimes your mind is too tired. You have too many tabs open. Distance yourself from the project. Turn your computer off and do something else. Have lunch, grab a coffee, call a friend, go out, or watch a movie. Remember though that you cannot get inspired on purpose and don’t get a panic attack cause you have been trying to create something in your mind for the passed 3hrs with no result. Just stop working and thinking of the project. It may take 5min or days. But eventually you being the creative human you are, will snap out of it and get that dramatic light bulb effect.

  3. As cliché as it may sound: WRITE YOUR IDEA DOWN when you get it! I learned this the hard way. Several times may I shamefully add. You would think one would learn from the first gazillion times where I would get an idea and not write it down. Thinking: “this idea is too awesome, I cant possibly forget it” well yea.. I forgot. Over and over again! What I do now is type the idea in the notes of my phone or even send it as a voice note to my husband. This way I am confident I won’t forget it.

  4. Never give up. Talk to people you trust and inspire you. A friend, coworker or sibling. Meet up with them or discuss the brief over the phone. Share ideas regarding the project and eventually something in the conversation will spark.

  5. Think outside the brief. Sometimes the brief can be tweaked to your advantage. If you get a crazy idea, just do it. Nothing is a waste of time. Don’t let the brief voice and dictate your design. If you believe the client’s business could benefit and become more attracting then by all means perfect your design, apply it and pitch it. You could inspire and introduce your client to a new way of thinking. Your new approach to the matter may just go through.

Hope my tips help. I know I’ve done them and they helped me every time. Tweaking the brief is my personal favorite honestly.

Whether you design, write or paint, what do you do when your creative mind shuts down?

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