Creative block (or artists block) is the same as writer’s block. It is when any creative’s (writer, artist, designer etc.) thought process or inspiration comes to a halt. Ideas seem to run dry and inspiration is nowhere to be found for a period of time. Creative block is a common dilemma for all artists alike. As a creative team, we have come up with simple solutions (tried and tested) to overcome creative block.
01. Take it easy
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself trying to force ideas. Stop with what you are doing and go for a walk. The effects of exercise, even as mild as walking can have a positive effect on your serotonin and dopamine levels. So you can be listening to your favourite music and enjoying some coffee when you are in a good mood. Maintaining high levels of these neurotransmitters makes you calm yet energized, which is the best condition for creative thinking.
02. Pen your thoughts
Write down your main ideas and make sure to list any and every idea that comes to mind, no matter your feelings towards it at the time. Maybe tomorrow you are in a different headspace and will be able to come up with great works inspired from your written ideas. Side note: always write/list/doodle/sketch/design ideas in one workbook or notepad so you can work through older ideas which may inspire new ones. Also, this keeps everything in one place and avoids the risk of losing an idea noted on loose pieces of paper.
03. Expect the unexpected
You'd be amazed at how inspiration comes to you when doing non-creative tasks and where new ideas are hiding out (that’s why you always need your trusty notepad handy). They're often where you would least expect them to be.
"The best ideas don't need to be sought out at all; you just have to train yourself not to swerve out of the way when they jump out in front of you," says Jon Forss, co-founder of Non-Format.
04. Tapping into reserves
Creativity is limited. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you take breaks throughout the day (or during the process), the only way to entirely refuel creativity is to rest. Inducing creativity naturally means you need to understand your body rhythms and plan your creative work accordingly.
05. Dare to be different
Try different working environments to keep things fresh. For instance, brainstorm in coffee shops or in nature. Sketch at home or on the train, and refine final work in your studio, for instance. Also, bouncing ideas of someone you trust is a great way to kick-start the creative thinking process.