You’ve heard about writer’s block….But what about creative’s block?

Someone once told me that creatives struggle working the traditional 9-5 jobs. When I started working as a designer, I realized that struggle is real. Whichever artistic field you work in — whether a painter, a musician, or like me, a graphic designer — it is difficult to pencil in creativity in your schedule. Mine usually sparked right before bed when my mind was clear of the hustle and bustle from that day. When my schedule changed, I had to find ways to keep that spark ignited. 

Here are 5 ways to turn your creative block into a creative spark.

  1. Plan. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re working on multiple projects at a time. Sometimes it can be discouraging because it feels like nothing will get done on time. I find writing down my to do’s helps declutter my mind. Whether in your calendar or notebook, write what’s priority first and then continue with the other tasks. Once the important task finished, cross it out. Your list will become shorter and you’ll become less overwhelmed.
  2. Sketch. Designs are usually produced digitally, but the most important step before producing the final results starts with a pencil and paper. Like writing down your tasks, sketching also helps declutter the mind. The perks of sketching your ideas out is that they don’t have to be perfect. They are quick and you can add or take away as much detail as you want. The drawings become influenced from the drawing before, and that one influenced from the one before that. They become visual resources for creativity.
  3. Find Your Comfort Zone. Organize your desk. Dim the lights. Change your desktop background to something colorful. Listen to your favorite Pandora station or a funny podcast. Whatever it is, find what keeps you in the zone. There might be a time when you are assigned a project that’s due before lunch. You can dwell in frustration or you can find your comfort zone. People work best when they’re at ease and comfortable, which makes for efficiency.
  4. Take a Break. Staring at a project you’ve spent hours on can be mentally draining. It’s as if your brain can only see a mess of lines and colors and you feel no where close to finishing. Step away from the screen and give your brain some fresh air. Go on a thirty minute walk. Have lunch with a friend. Take a nap. Do anything to keep your mind off of your work because when you come back to it, you’ll look at it with a fresh perspective and might say, “That ain’t so bad”.
  5. Find Daily Inspiration. Inspiration is easy to find. Saving pins on Pinterest, reading a graphic excerpt from a book, catching a cool poster on a bulletin board in your local coffee shop are just a few ways to find inspiration. Take mental and/or physical notes of what excites your creativity. You’ll find elements of these everyday things that can influence your future work.

Creatives think differently, which is why we struggle with creative block on a routine 8-hour schedule. You cannot simply switch on your creativity but you can exercise it daily with these helpful tips. They’re successful ways for creatives to ignite their creative spark!

Written by: Chounsee Chear/Graphic Designer