The Creative Block - 6 ways to battle it and become better in your work
As creatives, creativity is one of our main tools for work and communication. We sell our taste, creative thinking and the mastership of creating a visual product out of nothing. As designers we are able to transfer a brief sketch over a tissue into a moving butterfly in all shapes and colors.
Being a designer is fun, being a designer is inspiring, being a designer is often seen as a "cool" job.
It is a cool job but it's also not an easy one because sometimes it feels like you are out of juice and can't go any further. Something like a "writes block" but for designers.
That "creativity block" happened to me many times and it's pretty frustrating. And the first thing I did in order to work on it was to identify the causes, here are my evils and they may be somewhat same to yours:
Too much uninspiring work
Not enough work
Or a huge and a very cool project - that cool that I'm even afraid to start
A long vacation - and it's hard to get back on track
-Watching too much of all kinds of great work of other artists
Being in "Uninspired land" sucks because you have stuff to do and you have clients to work with. So it is very important to get rid of this feeling as soon as possible.
Besides going to the gallery, hang out with creative people, take a trip, watch a great movie and eat a chocolate here are some other things which helping me and I hope they'll help you:
01. Get enough sleep
This is a big one, seriously. Getting enough sleep is crucial for your creativity and your shiny brain. More sleep = more creative ideas and less creative blocks. It's too much noise going on around and we have to be in front of all kinds of screens most of the time when we are awake. So yes, your brain needs to shut down and will do miracles for you if you stick to at least 8 hours of sleep.
02. Less procrastination
Most of the creatives call the procrastination - a research, it is also popular to count it as a "necessary thing" for us in order to generate ideas. There is a big difference though between meaningless browsing and focused research. I found it to be super important to work on this and really plan what is it you need to look for today, what is it you need to research and for how long you gonna do it. Without specific time frame and focus this research becomes a "never-ending inspiration journey". That's okay if you have that time but if you work for yourself your time is money. Also that free piece of time can be used for up-skilling and working more on crafting your art.
03. Away from the Imposterland
The imposter syndrome is a dark space where sometimes you can spend some time but not for long because it can cause you even giving up on being a creative. There will be always more creative people, people who have better style, better projects, better clients. But it is someone else's song, which is better to admire and learn the lyrics rather than feeling depressed. Try to be inspired and learn the techniques from an artist you admire and never compare to yourself. We all have different routes and every each of us has it's own scene, clients and projects. If you feel the lack of the cool projects - create ones by yourself (be hired later for the same work). If you feeling like your skills are not that good - take your time and learn some tricks (you can learn almost everything today). Go away from the Imposter, keep working even more every time you feel it and be patient. Also be-friend that artist you admire, I bet they have the same imposter syndrome bonanza sometimes as well :)
04. Keep the ideas journal
Even though everything is digital, I keep a paper journal all the time with me. There is something special in the magic of writing and drawing things down by hand. Especially for visual people it's an exercise which brings that idea right where it should be. Keep the track of all the little ideas (all of them) and random sketches. It happened to me so many times when in the moment of feeling out of ideas to find the very right one in that journal.
05. Take care of your body
I believe that we are all one and "a good spirit is in a good body". If you take care of your physical and emotional health it will surely bring you so much more creativity and productivity in your work and life.
Spend time outside and see life outside being a creative professional because very often the best ideas that hit us, hit us outside of our work environment. I have a friend Sarah who is a creative director and her rule is - no internet at home = more time for other great stuff after work and on weekends (she also lives in Italy, great weather... food... :))
06. There is no such thing as a creative block
It is kind of true, because most of the time we go there by ourselves and we can control that feeling. Sometimes projects don't have to be perfect they can be just good enough. I totally agree with that amazing quote by Seth Godin.
"No one gets plumber’s block. They simply do plumbing. Creativity is work. It’s not the muse or lightning or the result of burning incense. I write daily because I’m a professional and this is what I do." - Seth Godin
Thanks for reading and let's go and create some great work today <3