What Is Creative Block?
There are some things that people don’t like to talk about, but you know they’re there. Diseases, for example. Or the inevitability of death. And then there is creative block. Some designers love to shout about it from the rooftops (or their social media profiles), complaining about not being able to make anything good or not wanting to go on with their professions because nothing interests them anymore and they can’t think of anything good. But what is creative block really?
Creativity is an ephemeral thing; without one moment it can be abundant, and in another non-existent. Of course, a person’s attitude towards creativity plays a huge role in how much heshe manifests in a given day. Still, creative block happens. It is a daunting prospect for any designer since the design is such an integral part of who they are and what they do. How then can one overcome that which seems insurmountable?
One step at a time; that’s how! The main key to overcoming creative blocks is breaking the big problem down into smaller more manageable ones and tackling them one after another:
Is this really “creative block” or something else?
And if it’s not creative block, will try to treat it as such make the situation better or worse?
Are there underlying reasons
Why you’re experiencing this lack of creativity right now? (e.g., stress from/school, personal problems)? How can you alleviate those problems so that they don’t manifest as a lack of creative output?
Can you talk to a friend or a colleague?
About your issue and see what they have to say about it? Sometimes having someone else’s perspective on the matter can help you better understand it yourself.
Go for a walk!
Being out in nature is one of the best ways to stimulate creativity since our own brains are naturally attuned to being more open and relaxed when we’re surrounded by trees or wide-open spaces. In fact, some research has shown that walking through an arboretum increased subjects’ scores on creativity tests by an average of 60%! Even if nature isn’t available right now, going for a walk alone in a park or anywhere else that’s quiet can do the trick.
Are there any “silly” activities like coloring books that might be able to help you out?
Sometimes our brains need some time away from the serious stuff, and doing something silly (such as drawing, for example) can really help them reboot. You can also try printing off some coloring pages for adults here.
Many artists attest to the fact that drawing is an excellent way of jogging their creative minds when they find themselves stuck in a rut; this works especially well because your hands are freed up during the process while your mind remains focused on what you’re creating. Even if you’re not intending to display your work afterward, drawing is a great way to generate new ideas and stimulate creative flow.
Do something completely different
Sometimes the best (and only) way to get over not wanting to make anything new is to make something else entirely! Yes, this will require some extra effort on your part, but it’s also one of the most effective ways of reigniting your spark for design; instead of working towards an end goal (like finishing a logo), try tackling some random project you normally would never consider making (like designing custom lettering or coming up with ideas for someone else). By doing this you’ll be able to clear your mind and clear away any blocks that were inhibiting your creativity, allowing it to flow freely once more.
Change your surroundings
It’s possible that the reason you’ve been feeling uninspired is simply that your work environment isn’t giving off any inspiration! Are there plants or other decorations in your workspace? Are there posters of inspiring artwork lining the walls? Or maybe it’s as simple as a new view from your office window or a bump up to first-class on an airplane: sometimes all we need to stimulate our creativity is something different and exciting.
Side projects, side projects, side projects.
This may be one of the most important tips out there; design-related or not, doing small (or big) things outside of work can help us grow as people and think about our lives in ways we normally wouldn’t if we were just cooped up in an office all day. Whether it’s painting, learning a new language, or making custom lettering for your walls at home, you’d be surprised by how much having something else to focus on can help break us out of the dreaded creative block.
The best form of inspiration is often found when we’re having fun; even if you’re not working on anything serious right now and simply want to make some custom logos for practice or personal use, don’t let yourself lose sight of the fun factor. If you’ve been feeling creatively exhausted lately and need a little boost, try doing things like listening to music while drawing (or vice versa), taking a few days off work, and allowing yourself to get goofy with custom lettering, or even just browsing custom logo designer sites. Doing this will not only keep you smiling, but it can give your brain the breath of fresh air it needs to truly live again