A, B, See – A short Illustrated guide to tackling creative block
Here in Brighton, UK and across the World, working as a creative requires a flow of new ideas and concepts for various briefs and projects. Sometimes when you reach a burnout period it is difficult to stay focused on the project at hand and keep your mind brimming with new ideas.
Below is a short guide on how to overcome the ‘creative block’ that we all experience from time to time.
TAKE TIME OUT
Take some time out to just be yourself and free your mind.
Time out is very important, even if it just an hour or two to do something you love (that’s not working). Watch your favourite TV show, take the dog for a walk or catch up with a friend on the phone or through Facetime. Chat your thoughts through and tell your friend how you are feeling. They might just trigger off some inspiration for you to get those creative juices flowing once again!
If you experience racing thoughts during the creative drought period (which I find blocks you from focusing on one good idea), let them happen and don’t beat yourself up for not having the ideas straight away that you are happy with.
Personally, I love taking some time out by playing badminton twice a week and treat this as a ’switch off period’ for my creativity. Taking a side step from the creative process is super important and this helps me focus my thoughts on something different (the strategy of a badminton game) rather than the feeling of bashing my head against the pages of a difficult brief or racking my brain to get these ideas out for the next piece of self promotional artwork.
PUT PEN TO PAPER
Even if you don’t feel like doing this it is good to jot everything down (either images or written lists). Sketch down your initial ideas (if you have any and even of you aren’t happy with them!)
Write a a list of how you are feeling (simple keywords will do) or a list of goals that you would like to reach. It doesn’t matter how unrealistic it is just get it down on paper and out of your head. This should help to free your mind of those naughty little gremlins that are stopping you from thinking up that next creative project idea.
THINKING POSITIVE GETS POSITIVE RESULTS
As a creative it is always difficult to stay positive 100% of the time. Looking around the internet at other people’s projects and artwork can create a feeling of dread and make you think ‘What’s the point, I am not good enough to compete’. Unfortunately this way of thinking is very poisonous.
Do NOT let this get in the way or get the better of you. You are an individual creative person like the others in your field and can reach your goals by any means possible if you stay positive and focus on keep doing what you do!
Just remember ‘Like attracts like’ so keep this in the forefront of your mind when feeling the creative blues. Even the great Picasso had his ‘blue’ period!
EVERYONE IS IN THE SAME BOAT
You are not alone with your creative block and will experience good and bad days. Every single creative without fail has had this at some point in their life. It is part of the process and pathway to good ideas and successful projects!
If you get frustrated with yourself take some time to ‘just be’. Sit down, close your eyes and let your thoughts wind down for a minute or two. After doing this, take a few deep breaths, breath in and out 10 times. Open your eyes and you will be ready to tackle that ‘difficult brief’ from a different angle (whilst feeling more relaxed hopefully!)
TALK TO OTHER CREATIVES
This is especially helpful and important. Chatting to other design freelancers will give you perhaps a different perspective on what you are doing. It will also reinforce what I mentioned about everyone being in the same situation.
Venting your creative frustrations with someone who understands is a great way of clearing this out of your head and moving forward with your thoughts.
So there it is. My final point to make is remember to have fun, be creative and free, enjoy what you are doing and get those beautiful images, projects and artworks out there for the rest of the World to see!