Inspiration. Sometimes it strikes when least expected, but more often than not it must be sought out. While pushing hopelessly through a myriad of lackluster ideas can feel defeating, it’s likely that with the right tools you can come out on the other side with something you’re proud of.
Creative block is almost as common for creatives as the desire to create. Here are a few ways our team makes their way through it.
- Tyler, designer and artist, makes word association lists. Sometimes the lists will be things he wants to include in his illustrations, and sometimes they are just words that conceptually relate to the project. Writing them down makes the ideas more tangible and gets him thinking about solutions.
- Carrie, project manager and 3D designer, likes to experience many different genres of art: “If you’re working on a 3D model, go listen to some really rad music or visit a museum.” Stretching your brain in a different way will often break something loose and get you working again.
- Robert, developer and musician, says perseverance is key. Don’t give up when things aren’t going the way you had hoped or if your block seems unshakable. Typically when you have to work hard is when you produce your best work.
You can jump-start your creativity in smaller ways, too.
- Can’t break through to the image you need? Switch from pencil to pen—sometimes your best idea is hiding in one of the 100 ideas you sketched and couldn’t erase.
- Feeling uninspired by your surroundings? Rearrange your desk or workspace. An inviting space full of inspiration will help put you in a creative mindset.
- Feel like you’re doing the same thing day in, day out? Introduce yourself to new art, new ideas, new creative people. Expanding your horizons will change the way you think.
- Is creative block making you dread sitting down to work? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone gets blocked sometimes. Take a break and relax—your creativity will be back before you know it.
While creative block feels frustrating, it often pushes us to examine ourselves, the way we think, and what we’re thinking about. It also results in transforming us into even more thoughtful, creative people. With the right methods and the right attitude, anyone can take a creative block and turn it into an opportunity.