Starting a project can be daunting and staring at a blank page can be intimidating.
Designers, creators and artists of all kinds can struggle with the cliche but oh so real 'creative block'. Looming deadlines or opinions of others seem to delay a roaring start. Maybe you choose to hide behind the excuse that you’re “waiting for inspiration”. Creative block is a very real thing and can be defined as a persons inability to tap into their own creativity. The nature of work our candidates do in the digital and creative field means they are more prone to the block as they need to tap into their creativity for every project they work on.
Creativity is a wonderful thing, there is no better feeling than getting caught up in your own vision and thoughts and seeing these become tangible but when you hit a creative block it can affect your work, performance and even well-being.
We’ve got a few tips below for those working in the digital and creative industry to get past the block!
STEP AWAY AND DISTANCE YOURSELF
If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
– John Cleese
Don’t be afraid to step away, take a break and distance yourself from the project. It can help clear your head and allow room for new ideas. If you are feeling truly stuck, you need to stop what you are doing, if you push through you will produce mediocre work. Focus on another task, or stop working altogether, then come back to it later. Go and eat, go and chat, go and play!
REDEFINE THE PROBLEM
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau
By changing the problem you face, simply by redefining it, it can make it more compelling. Ask yourself a question which changes the perspective of how you look at the task. Think about how others would solve the problem or how someone from a different time period would solve the problem. A fresh perspective allows you to put all the pressure on the person metaphorically solving the problem, making it easier for you to imagine.
LET YOURSELF EXPERIMENT
Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!
– Dr. Seuss
If you freeze when you see a blank screen, page or canvas, you’re not alone. Overcoming this however can really unlock your creative potential. Butcher the blank page if need be, scribble, doodle, write, type whatever it is that pops into your head. Look, the blank canvas is no longer blank. That first step has been taken, it may look awful, it may mean nothing to anyone else, BUT YOU’VE STARTED!
RESEARCH AND FIND NEW SOURCES
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
– Albert Einstein
Explore the minds and works of other creative minds. Visit a museum, fall down a Youtube rabbit hole watching tutorials, read a helpful article. This can give you ideas you have not thought of before, even reignite an excitement for what you are doing.
WASH THE DISHES- YOU'VE GOT TO ANYWAY
If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way
Not what you want to hear, not what anyone wants to hear. firstly, it needs to be done. Secondly, from personal experience whenever a creative wall appears in front of me, I take my speaker, I fill the sink and I wash the dishes. It clears my head, it is mundane and I get to sing and think. It doesn’t just clear your head, but it also occupies your mind with just the right amount of focus that leaves room for thinking.
Don't use this as an excuse to procrastinate, but use it as an opportunity to find your Zen.
DON’T FORCE IT
Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.
– Salvador Dali
Give yourself time to look at your work with fresh eyes, forcing yourself to be creative is pointless. It's not a manual skill that you do or do not have. If it's not all clicking together right now it doesn’t mean its not going to happen.
Everyone runs out of gas sometimes, just follow some of the steps above, give your brain a break. We’ve all experienced staying up late to finish a project and looked at it in the morning thinking why the hell did my 2am brain think that was a good idea?!
These may work for you, or you may have your own system. It is just really important that you remember you have the skills, you’ve put in the work. Just because that eureka idea isn’t there right now, doesn’t mean it is not coming.
If you have any tips for overcoming creative block please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and we could feature you #GetArtisan.