All creatives have those days where they just feel uninspired or stare at a blank document hoping for an idea. It happens to the best of us. So what do you do when you just have to get stuff done? Here are a few tips for how to spark your creative flow.
#1 – Get out of your comfort zone. Take on projects that are just a little outside of your wheelhouse. If you’re too anxious to take on a new project for a client, start on a new type of personal project. If you’re a layout designer, try hand lettering. If you’re a web designer, try illustration. When you push the boundaries of what you think you can do, you find that your creativity goes deeper than you thought!
#2 – Listen to different music. If you’re the kind of person who listens to music while you work, switch up your playlist! Just a little change in your routine can jumpstart the creative juices. So if you’re usually into pop music, check out some alt-rock tunes. Or if you’re more of a country fan, dial up some Top 40.
#3 – Look to the past. If it worked once, it’ll probably work again. There’s almost always some kind of “retro” movement going on in design. Look at some vintage ads and see if you can find a way to recreate it, but with a modern twist. It’ll stir up your creativity and help you learn new styles!
#4 – Go outside. We all have deadlines, but sometimes it’s just better to get up and go outside (or at least away from your computer) for a while. Take time to let your creative brain recharge. If you’re not able to spend a lot of time away from your desk, try browsing blogs for a short time. It’ll allow your mind to wander a bit and let inspiration come to you, instead of spending time searching for it.
#5 – Look around. Finally, the easiest (and perhaps the most obvious) — look around you. You can find ideas and inspiration anywhere. Choose an item near you and see what kind of ideas you can get from it. If you have a plant on your desk, use the organic shape of a leaf to make a new pattern. Or take a color or two from a photo on the wall and see what you can make.
If all else fails, just put something on the page. If you feel like your well of creativity has dried up, just getting started is the hardest part. Put something on the page and build around it. And before you know it, you’ll have a finished product.
By Sara Ekart, Creative Director, Capture Higher Ed