It is important to remember that EVERY designer experiences a creative block on occasion. It is definitely hard to shake it once you are in one and even harder to accept that you might need to walk away from a project rather than staring mindlessly at your computer waiting for that “AHA!” moment. Here are a few of our favorite ways to kick that creative brain back into gear.
Give up staring at your screen and do something else
Walking away from your computer is a great start when trying to break through that creative barrier that has inconveniently built itself up in your mind. It is never helpful to continue working on a design that clearly isn’t working. Get up, move around, and occupy your mind with something else for an hour or two. While we were working on the rebranding material for our social media pages, there were a good number of failed attempts before we found that sweet spot. All it took was a break away from the computer for everything to seamlessly fall into place. Playing off of our new website, we wanted our social media presence to represent our new brand. Having imagery that interacted with our logo was the best way to show off the new Integrate.
Be a Creative Hoarder
Keep anything and everything that inspires you. Find designs in magazines, newspapers or on the Internet and hoard them relentlessly. Then, when you get stuck, pull out that box of inspiration and dig through that plethora of great ideas. Looking at work that you admire may give you that one idea you need to fix your own work. The Integrate team browsed through a collection of designs for inspiration before finishing this image for Three Brothers Bakery’s Dog Days of Summer contest. Surfing the web and seeing how other brands represented themselves on Facebook helped our creative process when designing this cover photo.
Read, Read, and Read Some More
As crazy as it sounds, reading a book is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. You don’t have to read design books either, it can literally be ANYTHING. As PR professionals, we keep a stack of our favorite local and national magazines, not only for reference, but also for inspiration! By reading, you are taking your mind off of whatever it is that you are stuck on, while also exposing yourself to a completely different form of creativity.
There are so many ways to get past that creative barrier. While these have proven to work for us, every designer is different. How do you beat down that creative block?