7 ways of beating creative block

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We’ve all been there, the first few weeks back at work after a relaxing and fun week off and you’re struggling to get back into the swing of things. You just can’t seem to come up with anything remotely creative, engaging or exciting. And how are you supposed to convince a client that your design is the best if you don’t believe it yourself?

We’ve gone around the studio and scoured the internet and put together a foolproof list of just how to overcome that January creative block … Keep reading to find out.

1. Write/Draw anything and everything

Even if you think it’s pointless or not worth noting down, do it. It’s incredible how many times little ideas have turned into something much bigger. Take the ‘I Love New York’ slogan for example. Milton Grazer sketched it with a red crayon in the back of a taxi. Now it’s known worldwide.

2. Take a step back

Have you been agonising over a concept for hours and hours with no avail? Take a break. It sounds obvious but so many designers will just continue to work until an idea magically appears out of mid-air. Instead, stop, turn your screen off, go for a walk, draw, Pinterest or nap (if you can) and take some time to recharge, and who knows, you might find inspiration from somewhere unexpected. Did you know that Coco Chanel found her original inspiration from nuns?

3. Tidy up/organise

It’s the oldest saying in the book, but tidy house equals tidy mind, and this applies to work as well. If you’re feeling weighed down with the pressure to come up with an idea, take some time to organise your workspace and tidy up. It will not only help you to focus on something else, but it also is proven to improve productivity and creativity.

4. Push the boundaries

A lot of the time, creative block comes from trying to stick too close to the brief. Whilst this might be necessary in some projects, a lot of the time approaching the brief in a new way with a fresh perspective can do wonders for your creative block. Try a colour you wouldn’t usually use, or try something really weird and wacky, sometimes, it might just lead to a great idea, and your client might appreciate a change in direction.

5. Get out of the studio

We touched on this briefly on #2 but it’s so important to get outside of your workplace. Being in a new surrounding will help to clear your head and give you a clear mind, allowing you to collect your thoughts and come back to work with a new lease of life. Being outside has been proven to help with all kinds of issues, including creative block.

6. Get enough sleep

Designers are notoriously known for late nights and lots of coffee, but whenever possible, get an early night! Late nights and early mornings are not a good mix. Not only will you be exhausted, but you’re likely to feel more overwhelmed with work when you’re running low on sleep.

7. Stop comparing yourself

Easier said than done, right? Seriously though, a lot of the time we put too much pressure on ourselves to be the best, and through that we compare our work to others, and we focus on the negative. Instead, try and just focus on the work you are doing. You wouldn’t have this job if the clients and your bosses didn’t feel like you were up for the task. Trust in yourself that you are worth it, and you don’t need to be like a 50 person team who created a 10 minute in depth animation. You are just one person, some goals are more achievable than others.

Is there anything you think we missed? Please let us know how you get over your creative block!