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.