Design Diaries: 5 Simple Ways to Overcome Creative Block
What do you do when you have trouble tuning into your creative flow? As an artist, I run into creative blocks all the time. It’s not only difficult to persistently be on the ingenious ball to ground-breaking design, but close to impossible. I’ve found that in order to birth my best work, I need a fair balance of constraint and direction along with flow and freedom. On my days where I feel stuck and face-to-face with the enemy “artist’s block,” I tend to jump between a few different techniques that help me to snap back into my creative flow. Here’s how:
1. Get the sketchbook out
I have sketchbooks for both home and in the studio; keeping them completely separate to have handy wherever I may be at that moment. I like to randomly expel any and everything that comes to mind: lines, shapes, ideas, color combinations, people, patterns, illustrations, etc. I fill my pages with quick sketches to get my mind flowing and my hand loosened up. With all judgement aside, I breathe and let whatever wants to pour out on the paper roll off my pencil or paintbrush.
2. Take a breather
On days where I feel really stuck or overwhelmed, I let myself back off. This allows myself the permission and space I need to fully disconnect from that particular project or idea for the night and come back to it when I am feeling refreshed. I can’t be “on” everyday, so if my schedule allows it, I let myself take a step back from the project for a bit and revisit on a different day when I am in a more fluid and innovative frame of mind.
Mindful meditation has been proven to increase cognitive abilities and expand creative capacity which is said to be a key driving force behind creativity. My ability to innovate in particular definitely thrives the most when my head space is calm, collective and still. When I meditate I can actually hear myself think, which creates a fluid system that not only allows me to formulate fresh ideas, but to essentially screen, organize and execute on how to configure them.
4. Browse for outside inspiration
I am usually inspired and compelled to create my collections through an eclectic blend of art, culture and global destinations. When I am feeling depleted of inspiration, I’ll search for that 1 impactful image or reference that really moves me and hone in on recreating my version of the feeling it gives off. As a creator, I sometimes feel ambushed with a flock of new ideas and it seems like when they come to me, they come all at once. When I draw back, tweak and hone in on 1 specific area, I find that it helps me to create more mindfully and with intention and purpose. My best work has been created when I have been innovating through an organic sense of purpose. No rhyme or reason, just action and organic expression.
5. Blast some music
Music is a great way to shift your focus and help you break free from your creative block. It increases my mood and helps me to spill out some fresh ideas– all vibe, mood and project based. My favorite playlists to design include a mix of Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, TLC, Whitney Houston, Madonna and old school Hip-Hop remixes. Music pumps up my energy and gets me excited- which has helped bring about many of my collections.