Working in an industry that relies on constant creativity and fresh thinking naturally entails encountering creative blocks from time to time. Deadlines, disagreements, and empty coffee pots will have you banging your head on the table searching for ideas. As sad as it may seem, getting stuck doesn’t discredit you as a creative, it happens to us all. Even in these sad times know that there are steps you can take to help rebound from these mental stumbles, and best of all they don’t involve any form of head trauma.
First and foremost, accept that your brain falling into quicksand is a normal part of the process. There will be times when the flow of creativity slows to a trickle, which is where you can either remove yourself from the situation or break down the project into manageable, bite-sized chunks. Getting out of the workspace is certainly an underutilized method of becoming inspired and it opens doors to new perspectives within your work. Adding this variety into your life jumpstarts your brain into being creative again. Conversely, you could stay involved in your work but instead focus on smaller portions of the project that are easily processed. No matter which method you choose, it’s important to change your approach in some way whenever you get stuck.
Once it’s time to get back on track, remind yourself of your motivations and your personal expectations. Getting lost on tangents unrelated to the project can leave you wasting work on something other than the original plan. Equally exhausting, setting the bar too high for yourself can create a self-inflicted sense of doubt. Don’t allow your mindset to falter, and once you’re ready to return, buckle in and confidently chip away at the problem until the finished product is revealed.
To safeguard against future fumbles, remove any unnecessary stressors from your work environment, such as trivial distractions and inefficient multitasking, and allow yourself a workspace that is conducive to creativity. At the same time, it’s important that you are aware of necessary stressors that are unavoidable and commonplace in the work process, such as time, design quality, and client expectations. Once you recognize that they will always be present they begin to no longer loom over you, and instead their role in the process is understood and can be accommodated.
Over time creative blocks will seem less like mountains and more like speed bumps, hardly even affecting your workflow.
Have questions, comments, or ideas? Let us know in the comment section below or contact us. We’d love to hear from you!
Apprentice Studios is a graphic design studio focused on the training and education of the next generation of creatives.
Content By: Torrey Lubiens
Written By: Alex Reich
Photo Credit: Jonathan Simcoe