Creative block is an unavoidable and unfortunate side-effect of being a graphic designer, however when you design for a living then you can’t afford to stop working while you wait for your muse to return. Fortunately, creative block is a temporary ailment that can be overcome quickly if the right measurements are taken.
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Don’t Think About It
Just like a toothache, creative block only gets worse the more you think about it. Get your mind off of designing for a bit and do something to stay preoccupied. Take a shower, wash the dishes, play fetch with the dog at some point, when you least expect it, your inspiration will come back because you weren’t worried about finding it again.
Exercise pumps you up with endorphins, which helps you to stay happy and feel good. If you need to do something to take your mind off of your creative block, try going for a walk, jog or bike ride. Not only is exercise good to get your ideas flowing but you’ll be helping to improve your health.
Draw Inspiration from Your Favorite Things
What makes you happy? What do you have positive associations with? How can you transform these elements into an effective design? Don’t be afraid to borrow some of your favorite components from the things you love. For example, if you grew up reading Batman comics you might be partial to a sleek, black design scheme with a few sharp flairs here and there for dramatic effect.
You can’t learn from your mistakes until you’ve made them, so jump into a new design feet first and allow yourself the luxury of making few unusable designs on your way to coming up with something better.
Rememberthat a rough draft should be exactly that rough so give up trying for perfection and settle on just trying to improve by a little bit each time.
Leave Well Alone
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Artists often become stuck trying to figure out what comes next in a design when the answer is sometimes nothing all. If something looks good, it might not ever get any better and adding more components could spoil the design. Trust your design instincts and stop when it’s time to stop.
Play By Your Own Rules
Getting into the same old routine can stifle creativity, so find new ways to bend or even break the rules when it comes to design. Is there a font you use too much? Replace it with your own handwriting. Does your print collateral look boring? Add bright graphics and a die-cut design.
Change Your Medium
If you’re having a hard time overcoming a creative block, change the way you’re approaching your work. If you usually work digitally, break out a pad of paper and pen and see what comes out. Take up painting, try a bit of sculpting, snap some photos the method doesn’t matter because once you have your idea you can transfer it to a different medium.
Change Your Canvas
Sometimes a good design just needs a different canvas to really come alive. Say for example you create a really stunning image for a brochure, but find that most of it has to be cropped out to fit the brochure size. You could instead design a presentation folder using the full-size image and put the brochure inside.
Perform Design Exercises
Designing is just like any other skill you can become better with practice. Take the time every now and then to work on designs just for the fun of it. Doing so allows you to discover new elements that you can, in turn, apply to later designs. Think of what your dream project would be : do you want to design the poster for a movie or a print ad for your favorite car company? Work on those dream projects now to get your creative juices flowing.
Put Yourself in a Designing State of Mind
Create a designer ritual that helps you get into the “zone” and focus on the task at hand. Do you need a cup of coffee to get started? Do like to listen to a particular playlist to put yourself in the designing mood? Do you need to have the lighting a certain way? Discover your best work routine and take the time to get things the way you like it before you start working.
Unfortunately, like the common cold, there is no surefire way to fix creative blocks there are just remedies that help you to do what you do naturally. Sometimes the only way to get over your creative block is to wait it out or barrel through it, keeping in mind that you’ll get back into the swing of things before long.
If you’re struggling to find design inspiration you will find this article we wrote interesting about Where do you find logo design inspiration
Another top tip is to learn how to use your sketchbook effectively to get those ideas out of your mind and onto paper. You will find this article we wrote about “Logo Design Sketchbook, Documenting The Process” very useful.
Just remember if you are suffering from creative block try not to worry or stress yourself out, just walk away for awhile let your mind be free. It happens to us all free your mind and go have some fun, inspiration will come when you least expect it!