Every creative has experienced creative block. Designers, writers, artists and musicians all have their own stories of creative block and how they overcame it. Gary Lightbody, founder and singer of one of Ireland’s biggest bands struggled with the problem for four years before writing material for their forthcoming album. The advice the Snow Patrol front man says he received from fellow musicians rings true whether you’re a songwriter, designer or copywriter: “Keep writing – even if it’s gibberish.
Clearly creatives in the design, advertising and marketing industries don’t enjoy the luxury of having four years (or even four weeks) to come up with new work. However, the best methods of overcoming creative block are the same for designers and writers alike:
If you “wait for inspiration” you’ll probably wait a long time – certainly longer than your client expects. Grab a sketchpad and put down every idea that comes into your head. Many won’t work and that’s fine. Keep sketching and keep all your ideas even if you don’t like them. Eventually one small element of one idea might lead to another idea. Then you’re on your way.
Look at similar projects
There’s nothing wrong with looking at creative work other agencies or designers have produced. The Internet gives you the whole world of design at your fingertips. No-one’s suggesting you should copy other people’s work but see others’ ideas can lead to a light bulb moment on what you can do creatively on your own project.
Change your environment
It’s often hard to feel inspired sitting at the same desk day after day. Many creatives get together for “brain storming” sessions. These can take place in a cafe, bar or even just a different room in your place of work. The change of scene can work wonders and if you share ideas with others you’ll get views from completely different angles you hadn’t previously considered.
Take a break
A simple few hours away from a project can clear the head and reboot the creative brain. Go for a walk, see a movie or spend time with friends. It’s easy to find yourself in a rut when you’ve concentrated on one problem for hours or days. Do something that completely takes your mind off the problem. You’ll return refreshed, renewed and enthusiastic.
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