How to Deal with Creative Block

Nobody can deny that even the most accomplished Illustrators and Designers will come up against a block at one time or another. In this article I’ll share with you my personal experiences with Creative Block and a few tips and tricks I’ve learnt to keep it under control.

My Creative Block started without warning and spanned over an entire year. It felt like a form of fatigue. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find the motivation and inspiration that I once had. It was a year of ups and downs, of days when I felt that I had my flare back.

For freelancer Graphic Designers, Creative Block is probably one of the worst things that could happen in their career. You feel as though you don’t have the ideas and skills that will keep food on the table, and in turn those feelings can make you feel pretty low. Here’s a few tips to keep “The Block” at bay.

Look into the past For Ideas

Looking at your old portfolio is a good way to come up with ideas, sometimes good ideas can be put to the side when you’re full of inspiration. By looking over your old work you can also reassure yourself that while you may not have the motivation to draw at this moment, your skills are moving in the right direction and they will be there when you’re inspired again.

Don’t Force Yourself to be Creative

If you have work that needs to be finished on time, finish your tasks to the best of your abilities and avoid starting any personal work unless you’re completely relaxed. You can sometimes judge your work harder than the client does. Follow the client brief and move on to the next project. Stop keep biting your nails thinking that it’s not an award winning masterpiece! — This will only make the block worse.

Learn Something New

If you’re stuck for design ideas, you can turn your attention to learning something new. If you’re an illustrator you could try Animation, Web Design, 3D, or Screen Printing. New skills bring new ideas and can boost your workflow.

Help Other Designers

Helping other designers is a nice way to stay active within the creative community. You can do this by participating in forums and blogs, leaving advice on social networking sites or by joining a brainstorming session with a friend.

Stay Away from Creative Sharing Sites

When you have Creative Block, trying to find inspiration in the work of others is a great way to make yourself feel bad! I’ve tried this myself. After looking at what my colleagues were up to and how fast they were producing new work, I felt horrible. Save all the browsing and bookmarking for later.

Polish up your Portfolio

Consider your Creative Block as a fantastic opportunity to catch up your to-do list. Utilize this time to clean up your portfolio and put your website, blog and/or social networking sites in order. You should also use this time to back-up your hard drive, delete your unwanted folders and check that all your hardware and software is in order. Who wants a crashed hard disk after the long waited creative inspiration is back?

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