The ultimate nightmare of creatives, creative blocks can get the best of us and can be a frustrating affair. Unfortunately in our industry, these blocks can come at the worst of times. In a world of looming deadlines and demanding clients, we must overcome these obstacles quickly or suffer the consequences.
How do I push through these mental blocks? I combat them with a few tricks up my sleeve.
Plow Through the Process
The best thing you can do is just get started. If you don’t start, then you can’t finish. By finishing an idea, you have completed a thought that will lead you to the next. And yes, the first idea might be terrible and look awful, but you completed the idea and that is the most important part. Now you can move on and figure out how to better represent that idea in a new way.
Approach from Different Angles
If you are asked to create a square object but become frustrated by the confines, switch it up and go circular. But why go against the creative brief you ask? Because it will allow you to explore a new way of thinking about the same project. Stuck on landscape? Go portrait. View your idea from upside down. In doing so, the copy becomes abstract symbols and you are able to concentrate on the design.
Stuck on where to start? Take a sheet of paper and dump everything you know about the project-company names, buzzwords, colors, shapes, and so on. It will end up looking like a jumbled mess but you have now effectively visually represented your thoughts. Comb through these visual thoughts and pick out the good points.
Go for a Walk
Time is of the essence so long droughts don’t fly but on a project that is giving you trouble, go for a walk. By walking you are giving your brain a mental break and allowing your body to experience new sensations outside of your normal work environment. I always take this time to get a coffee, have a chat, and take a breather.
Get Some Fresh Eyes
SLEEP ON IT! If you can, this really is the best way to solve the issue. By sleeping on it, you are giving your brain a much needed break from the assignment. REM sleep has been known to help the creative process.
Not only fresh eyes for yourself are good, but getting someone else’s opinion can help this process. It might validate your initial thoughts or give you a new perspective. I especially like involving someone who has no background of the project and seeing what they see.
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