One subject that I have come across quite a bit in my dialog with other students and designers is experiencing creative blocks. A creative block can be described as just that…working periods when the creativity and ideas just are not flowing. This subject largely relates to a topic I am currently exploring, “Stress in Design”. For me, experiencing creative blocks is a huge stressor. However, there are ways to get around and not be overcome by them. If ever feeling a bit stunted in the idea department, here are a few of my practices to consider:
- Go to Sleep: Fighting sleep while fighting the creative block only fights progress. Sometimes it helps to step away for a moment, get some rest and clear the mind for free flow.
- Log Your Likes: Keep a journal/sourcebook. Whenever you come across a design or inspiring image, log it for future inspiration. For more inspiration tips, read: How to Improve as a Graphic Designer.
- Inspirational Quote: Keep post it notes or designer plaque of your favorite inspirational quote in your workspace. Take a moment to look up at it and keep it moving. Here are a few of my favorites: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13, “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, and “If you take a moment to chill and be still, you can find the beauty and positivity in the moment.” -me
- Establish a “Playground”: Playgrounds are a topic discussed in Methodological Practices. Your playground is wherever helps you find peace or inspiration. For me, it’s watching “play”. Play, for me, provides an escape…a sense of freedom. For example, I love to watch my nieces play and let their imaginations flow, as they make up games or have the most outlandish conversations for three-year-olds; or it’s watching my horses gallop full-speed through the pastures. This type of relaxing and care-free environment takes me away from heavy thought processes, if only for a moment, and reminds me of the purity in the simple things.
- Blast Your Favorite Music: Taking about an hour to dance uncontrollably (as rhythmless and unorthodox as you desire ), sing to the top of your lungs (as off-tune as your heart pleases), and turn up the volume to some of your favorite tunes is a great stress reliever. Read: Music at Work: 3 Real Productivity Benefits
- Exercise: Exercise always helps me alleviate stress and clear my mind. Read: Exercise for Stress Relief
- Talk to Someone: Getting feedback on from a co-worker or target always helps. Even having a quick conversation with a friend or loved one relieves the tension of a creative block for a while.
…and when there’s no time for any of the above. Just PRAY. Hopefully, this was a pleasant reminder that when things get a little heavy or your brain unscrupulously takes a break, blow off some steam and get back to it! Thanks for reading!