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How To Overcome Creative Block: A Guide For Designers

How To Overcome Creative Block: A Guide For Designers

Most designers experience a creative block at some point in their careers, which can be frustrating and hard to overcome. It's difficult to know where you should start when you're feeling uninspired. Luckily, there are several ways that designers can overcome creative blocks and get back on track. In this article, we will talk about six different techniques for overcoming creative block so that you can get back into a productive workflow as soon as possible.


1. Identify what is causing your creative block


Creative blocks happen to everyone. No matter how experienced or talented you are, it's inevitable that there will be times when your creativity is at a standstill. The best thing you can do in these situations is to identify the cause and work through it systematically. To identify the cause, ask yourself three questions:


  • What am I working on?
  • Why do I feel like this is impossible?
  • How can I reframe my perspective to make it more achievable?


The first question will help you understand what's causing your block. The second question helps you gain a new perspective and see solutions instead of problems. And lastly, the third question will allow you to break down the task into manageable tasks that are easier for your brain to process. This way when you revisit those difficult tasks with fresh eyes they'll seem almost easy.


Also, consider that sometimes, all you need to do is to avoid distractions in order to overcome a creative block and get back on track. Distractions are killer so do your best to minimise (and eliminate) these as much as possible.


2. Reflect on past projects and successes to remind yourself of your strengths


With the craziness of everyday life, it is easy to forget about our successes. It can be a challenge for graphic designers to find inspiration in what they have accomplished when they are constantly looking at their failures. Trying to find inspiration for new projects is even more difficult.

Keeping a file of past successes and favorite designs can help you easily remind yourself that you are an expert in this field, have succeeded before, and will continue doing so.  It may be hard at first but by looking back at these accomplishments you will boost your ego and get over any creative block.


Sharing your past successes with others can also help overcome a creative block; in fact, many people in this situation use a good podcast hosting system to share their ideas and successes with the world. This is a great way to quickly get over a creativity slump. You can also consider screencasting software if you want to share your work with the world by recording yourself working on a computer screen.


By not focusing inwards (yourself) and instead focusing on the outwards (sharing your work with others), you will be able to overcome a creative block and get on with work.


3. Get some sleep or exercise


The creative process can be a tricky one. There are times when the ideas just don't flow and the creative block is simply too much to overcome. While it's impossible to always be at peak productivity, especially when working from home, these three easy tips will help get you back on track: 


1) Get some sleep

2) Exercise

3) Eat well


These three tips might seem simple but sometimes that is all you need!


4. Work on something else.


One of the best ways to combat creative block is to work on something else for a while. If you need to get back into your groove, try picking up another project that you're excited about or tackling a small side project.


This will help clear your mind and give you new perspectives on what's been holding you back creatively. I find that when I've been working on one project for too long, it's really helpful to step away and work on something else for a while - especially if the new project is related to my own personal branding. With these kinds of projects, it’s usually easier to understand the value that you will gain over both the short and long term.


5. Try new things.


We all know how easy it is to fall into a routine, and that's ok. Creative blocks can be caused by doing the same thing over and over again. If you find yourself in this situation, try trying something new instead of getting stuck. Using games to help with learning a new skill and getting over a creative block could also help in this situation. This is a great time to gain some insights, try a few new things, and work on your own personal development.


Speaking of trying new things, if you currently need to find clients for your design business (in addition to the actual design), then this might be a reason why you are facing a creative block. In this situation, you might consider a chatbot platform so that clients come to you already knowing what you can provide, rather than you having to sell them on what you offer. This would allow you to focus more on what you love doing and less on other skills. One final point to mention is that an experienced marketer can also help with the marketing and selling aspects of the business so that you can double down on the thing that you do best - creating design work.


These are all new things that you could consider trying and that might help you get out of a creative block.


6. Remember why you do what you do.


It's easy to forget why you do what you do when creativity dries up. You may even stop for a while and question your purpose, but that can lead to a downward spiral of depression. Some people use the goal of achieving financial freedom as a way to push themselves forward whilst others do it for a totally different reason. When the creative well has run dry, remember why you dedicate your time and energy to doing what you love in the first place.


It is possible to find motivation again and get ahead with your design career - it all starts with some reflection on one’s process while remembering how much and why this matters - whether that is following a passion because of fulfillment from providing joy with a product or making something beautiful through your designs.


7. Seek professional help if all else fails


There are plenty of therapists who specialize in helping creatives overcome blocks like these. It's worth trying before giving up completely and feeling hopeless. The key to overcoming creative blocks is to talk with someone about your problem. Sharing what's going on, in a professional setting will help you explore the issue and get some perspective, which can be helpful for getting past it.


So before giving up entirely, consider seeking out help from someone who has successfully dealt with this type of situation before. By seeking out professional help and giving it one final chance before quitting, creatives can get over their creative blocks much more quickly than if they had gone the whole way by themselves entirely.


Conclusion


Creative blocks are a reality for any creative person, and they're even more common for designers. It's easy to get discouraged when you start feeling like your creativity has dried up, but there are ways to get back on track. 


Hopefully, this article has provided some insight into how creative blocks can be solved. In the end, we're all human and will sometimes experience these feelings. Try out a few of these methods to see which works best for you - after all, there is no right or wrong way to combat this feeling as every person is different.


by Neal Taparia | 21 Jun 21

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