HOW TO END A CREATIVE BLOCK
December 2018 was the first time I designed after a two year creative block. I went through a period where I was designing every week, turning out designs and filling my portfolio to the brim. It didn’t take long before I burned out and it got to the point where I couldn’t even think of a design idea let alone sit down and create something. I tried everything under the sun to clear my creative block, here are some suggestions that I tried and the ultimate creative block cure…
Rearrange Your Workspace
Working out of the same space can start to make your work feel and look the same. Try re-arranging your workspace, buy a new mousepad, add some plants, maybe even upgrade your software/hardware to inspire a change in your creative process.
Redevelop Your Creative Process
If you find yourself following the same steps before you start creating, try switching it up. Take some time to think about how you create, where you go for inspiration, and how you share your creativity with others. Once you understand your current creative process, change it. Try stepping outside of your comfort zone whether that means creating in a different space or collaborating with other creatives.
Spend Time with Other Creatives
Spending time with creative people is a really helpful way to articulate your creative frustrations. Find a group of creatives you can talk to, ask them about their creative process and how they overcome creative blocks. You may find the answer to a problem!
Get Some Sun
Not only is the sun a great source of vitamin D, I’ve found that sunshine is a great source of creative energy. If you’re feeling blocked creatively try taking a walk, if your creative block is persistent, try creating in the sun. If you can work portably, take your work outside and draw inspiration from what’s around you.
Create a Creative Playlist
I listen to a certain genre of music when I design that always gets my creative juices flowing. Create a playlist of up-tempo songs that will pump you up and get you excited to create! Click here, to listen to my creative playlist.
Visit a Museum
Museums are great spaces for creativity, especially museums with seating/outdoor space. Visit a local museum and bring a notebook/tablet and camera. Take photos of whatever stands out to you and before you leave, find somewhere to sit and go through your notes and photos. Start sketching or blocking out ideas for the future and you’ll find that your creative blocks will become less and less frequent.
Search the Web for Inspiration
If you can’t get out to an art museum, use websites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Behance to find inspiration. It’s important to note that if you come across work from creatives in your space that are especially inspiring, do not save or bookmark it! Just look, take notes, and keep scrolling. Don’t get sucked into a derivative trap, keep your ideas fresh and original!
Work Out of a Neutral Space
Choosing to work out of a new space really helped my get out of 2 year creative block. My space of choice is a local coffee shop. Find a comfy space whether it’s a park, library, co-working space, or coffee shop (I don’t recommend Starbucks) and get to work! Make sure the energy in the space is conducive to producing quality work, if your chosen space isn’t allowing you to produce good work, then keep trying out new places until you find your sweet spot.
Get Over It!
Finally, what cured me of my creative block was realizing that I was holding myself back. After trying everything listed above with no results, I looked at my dismal portfolio and realized that it wasn’t an accurate representation of my skillset. So I sucked it up and got to designing and 3 months later I landed my first design job.
If you’re suffering through a creative block, sometimes the best thing you can do is just create for creation’s sake.