5 tips on how to avoid creative block
Struggling for ideas? Not to worry, it happens to the best of us. All creatives suffer from creative block from time to time, so to help you get your creative juices flowing, I’ve pulled together some inspirational top tips from some of our friends in the creative community…
- Stop panicking
“Although it’s easier said than done – stop panicking! Take a step back and get a clear view of what’s going on. You need to free up some space to think, so take a few deep breaths without worrying about the looming deadline. Go for a run or go for lunch. Just get out of your studio when you can,” says my good friend, award winning art director, illustrator and graphic designer Radim Malinic.
- Do something different for a while
“Creative block can be an absolute pain, especially when you have a deadline looming. But whenever I find myself feeling that concrete wall building, I go and take some photographs. Even if I’m feeling like a sack of potatoes and don’t want to leave the house, I force myself to try and go out and take some nature photography,” says freelance illustrator and designer Tom Watkins. “Even just breathing fresh air helps reset the mind, and with a camera I can still be creative. If it’s extra bad, I’ll take the evening off and watch football, completely removing the problem from my mind, tackling it in the morning when I’m feeling fresher.”
- Don’t think – just go with it!
“Whatever you think you are meant to be doing, do the opposite,” says Radim. “Put together a mood board of working samples, collect images on a new Pinterest board, pick up a pencil and draw, or write down anything that comes to your mind. The key is in picking up momentum and collecting fragments to help you form a fitting answer to your problem.”
- Limit your use of the internet
“The internet can help with creativity, but it’s best to take some time out from it when you’re suffering from creative block,” says top illustrator, animator and designer, Jonathan Ball of Poked Studio. “It tends to be the first place people go to find inspiration, but at times it can actually have the opposite effect. The thing to do when trying to get over a case of creative block, is to not overload your mind with too many distractions, which the world wide web is full of. Instead, try engaging in another activity, as this can really help to clear your mind and make way for new creative ideas.”
- Make a mind map
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re not sure which direction to take your work in,” says photographer Calvin Chinthaka. “Get a pen and paper and start by jotting down a simple mind map – it’s a great way to develop your ideas. Scribble down thoughts and sketches using different coloured pens to categorise your concepts, and the strongest ideas will soon jump out at you.”
Tom is a self-taught Designer/Art director, currently studying Creative Advertising at the University of Lincoln (UK). He has worked as a freelance Illustrator/Designer/Creative for clients such as: Visa, Innocent Smoothies, Spotify, Adobe and Airbnb. Before that, starting when he was just 16, he worked as a freelance logo designer, successfully branding over 100+ businesses.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomAnders_
Radim Malinic is an award winning art director, illustrator and graphic designer based in London. Radim has firmly established himself as one of the most successful commercial illustrators and designers working today. His work is renowned worldwide for its innovation, passion and attention to intricate detail.
Follow Radim on Twitter: @brand_nu
Jonathan Ball is an illustrator and company director for Pokedstudio based in Wales. Jonathan has built a reputation for wacky and non-conformist character designs, intricate worlds and video graphics. He creates characters, brands, packaging, logo’s illustrations, animations and adverts.
He has worked with many well-known brands such as; MTV, BBC, Sony, Playstation, McDonalds and Sainsburys.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @pokestuff
Calvin Chinthaka is a London based fashion and commercial photographer.
Follow Calvin on Twitter: @CalvinChinthaka