One of the easiest holes to fall into as a designer or any job that requires constant creativity and strict deadlines is a creative block. Luckily for creatives, there are multiple ways of disconnecting and taking a little time to get inspired and think of a killer idea before Friday at 5 when that project needs to be on the boss’ desk. Here are ways I get back in the creative zone and am inspired to create my best work.
Surf the Web
When I have a strict deadline to make and the creative juices aren’t flowing, I usually turn to my good friend, the internet. Some sites I frequently visit for inspiration are; designspiration.net, adsoftheworld.com, and siteinspire.com. These sites showcase amazing work done by designers around the world of varying types and styles to inspire you and expand your designs.
Challenge Yourself Daily
In college, I often had professors that would make the class get up and do silly little games or quick projects at the beginning of classes to get our creative muscles going for the day. There are a lot of sites out there that offer daily challenges like this, which usually don’t take very much time out of your day and will offer a break from whatever stress your workday is causing. I will usually do a challenge I make up on my own, like redesigning a terrible logo for a company in 30 minutes or making a graphic for my Instagram (#nofilter). Regardless of the type of activity you choose to partake in, just make sure you find time during the week at least once to get away from whatever project you’re working on and stretch that design muscle.
Seek Out feedback
One of the biggest lessons a designer will learn when getting into the industry is that he or she doesn’t know nearly as much as they thought. You can have 30 years of experience under your belt, but never discredit the feedback that a fellow designer, boss, or even someone not related to the advertising/design industry can offer. You might find people will not be lining up at your desk to offer you amazing feedback. However, if you take your work to any fellow creative I guarantee they will have something to say about it, even if it looks amazing and they wouldn’t change anything about it (except maybe get rid of the picture, the title, and change all of the colors). So, don’t be afraid to show someone your work and see how it can be improved!
Sometimes, the best way to progress can be to just disconnect altogether and take some time for yourself. Time away from the computer to spend outside, watching tv, or just doing something you love can bring about the best ideas and can be the best creativity booster. I will often take some “me time” and just clear my head and forget about everything for a while. Most of the time I come back with a fresh mindset and it helps immensely. It may seem hard to justify the time away but even go take a short drive. It may help to bring on that amazing idea.
Networking is the backbone of the design industry and if you do it right, it could help land you a job, clients, or get you inspired. There are many networks out there designed for getting people together and networking. Most of them are low cost or even free like meetup.com, aiga.org, and various Facebook groups. Take 5 minutes out of your day and sign up for sites like this, and once you get a notification for an event you like or is related to your industry head over and mingle away!
At 321 we feel lucky to have each other to bounce ideas off of, take some time to relax together, and share what inspires us. By constantly challenging ourselves creatively and exploring Orlando’s digital community, we strive to create the best work possible for all of our clients. If you’re interested in how 321 can bring a creative spark to your business, come pick our brains!