With the end of the year approaching fast and the weather getting darker and colder each day in the north, that creative block can hit even harder. As Designers in the industry, it is our job to come up with numerous designs daily. However, inspiration can occasionally run dry or our designs can begin to feel stale when we look at them. Creativity is an important part of problem solving and development. While we’ve all heard the myth that inspiration and creativity always strike at the right time, as any designer will tell you, it takes effort to cultivate creativity and call upon it for projects on a regular basis. If you want to become a successful Graphic Designer, you should master both the technical and creative parts of graphic design. Here are 7 tips and tricks you can follow to help avoid a creative block when graphic designing.
1. Collect Inspiration
Creativity and inspiration don’t always come easily. When you feel that creative block coming, don’t just stare at your blank computer screen or re-read the design brief for the thousandth time. Inspiration is all around us, we just need to look for it. Pull from a variety of different sources, such as nature, literature, or artwork. Try surfing the internet or scrolling through social media. Every time you see a design work that inspires you, take a photo of it or screenshot it and add it to your collection to save for later. Later on down the line, you can maybe get inspired from them, take a little part from each of them, and create an awesome design. It can be super valuable to take the time to invest in researching and finding various assets that can help spark your creativity.
2. Sketch, Sketch, Sketch
As famed Designer Aaron Draplin says, your hand is much more free when working on paper than when controlling a mouse. On that basis alone, you should generate your ideas on paper. Create thumbnails of your ideas, and push each idea as far as you can within the time available. Every designer should keep a sketchbook. Sometimes ideas come to you when you don’t really expect them. So it can be quite beneficial to have a way to quickly draw them out, rather than leaving them for later and potentially forgetting your vision.
3. Reference The Professionals
Another great way to avoid a creative block is to communicate with other Designers. It can be very helpful to get advice or feedback from other seasoned professionals for a fresh new perspective or for knowledgeable critiques in order to improve yourself. Receiving feedback can be quite intimidating at times, but by embracing it, we can see our work from a different point of view, which can greatly spark creativity. There is also a lot we can learn from other expert Designers. Sometimes it is a very good idea to redo other Designers’ designs. It will not only help you get mastered in design but will also give you the chance to understand what was done wrong in that design and what can be improved. Additionally, try reading Designers’ blogs or joining an online Designers’ community. It not only will provide you with the latest news and trends of the design world, but will also give you the chance to upload your works and get some feedback for them.
4. Stay Curious And Get Learning
Go back to when you first started designing. Think about the zeal of wanting to learn as much as you could about the design world and how the possibilities were endless. Well, that still holds true. Like any skill set, it is important to take time and invest regularly in your craft. There are many colleges and universities that let you attend classes without full-time enrollment. During these classes, you will definitely learn many new things and will work on your creativity. If you don’t have enough time or finances for that, there are plenty of online courses and tutorials available at little to no cost. YouTube and Adobe offer a great variety of videos you can even watch in your spare time.
5. Experiment Like A Mad Designer
When you have some free time, try creating some fake projects. Try designing a new logo, website, poster, advertisement, website, or just for fun photo manipulation. Not only can this help with creative blocks, but it also gives you an opportunity to add to your skillset and potentially have a design that could be referenced for future projects. Many Designers even suggest setting creative boundaries or limitations to follow in order to challenge themselves. It can be quite helpful, especially when it comes to font pairings, color palettes, and utilizing negative space in your design. Another fun activity to help prepare for a creative block could be to revisit some of your own older designs and reinvent them with the new knowledge and insight you have gained since you first created them. Additionally, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and imperfections; it is part of the creative process and an integral step to creating good work.
6. Go With Your Flow
Unless you’re a freelancer, your job likely requires you to work standard operating hours. Whichever category you fit into it’s beneficial to assess when you are most alert and innovative during the day. Once you’ve found your most efficient time for creative projects, you are able to segment your tasks according to what type of attention they require. If you’re most creative and refreshed in the morning, assign your creative tasks for then and your administration tasks for later in the day, or vice versa.
7. Take A Break
Sometimes it’s easy to stay glued to your computer screen and powerhouse through projects. However, it is easier to get tunnel vision or creative blocks by doing that. In my opinion, it is super important, if not necessary, to take occasional breaks between working, especially for creatives. By sitting at a desk all day, it can be hard to gain inspiration. Taking a walk, grabbing a snack, or having a short chat can do wonders for boosting creativity. It is amazing what even a short 10-15 minute break can do to increase productivity and let you get back to work feeling more refreshed. If you are really feeling overwhelmed, see if you can take some much-needed vacation time. Maybe even go on a short trip. You will definitely agree with me, that every time you go to another country or fun location, you return back with excitement and a lot of energy. When you discover other countries, cultures, or environments, it opens your mind and boosts your creative thinking.
Whatever your profession, being more creative is a skill set that you can use every day. Hopefully, these tips and tricks were able to help you or give you some ideas on how to overcome the dreaded creative block. Check out some of our other blogs for more awesome inspiration and knowledge for creatives. Here are some recommendations to get you started!