The dreaded ‘creative block’. I’m sure lots of you have had one at some time or another, regardless of your creative expertise.
The creative block isn’t just something a creative has to deal with, it can influence all avenues of work whether they are client facing, digital, graphics or written communication.
It’s a horrid and sometimes panicky feeling when you’re just so uninspired and know you have to meet that ever-looming deadline. It happens to the best of us –and I suppose that’s the only consolation we can have. Or is it?
The reason I’m touching on the subject is because I recently went to see the wonderful Matisse exhibition in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum (a fantastic exhibition, by the way)! As I was walking around I thought of how active an artists brain must be. Continually being fuelled by new ideas that have to be visualised. I wondered what the great artists of the world did if they ever had a creative block…
Most of us have read about famous artists and the thing that comes up quite frequently is that they were all very driven and many suffered feelings of doubt or even depression or at some point during their lives. Nobody is immune to a creative block.
So, what’s the remedy? Unfortunately there’s no magical cure to overcome a block, but there are a few things you can do to help yourself get inspired again:
Get sporty; yes! even a simple brisk walk can make you feel so much better. Whatever your sport may be, physical exercise has been proven to support positive mental wellbeing. Whether it’s cardio or a more relaxing form of exercise like yoga – it doesn’t matter as long as it happens regularly. Focussing on a sport can help us to obtain that ‘mental space’ we need to free our minds and think creatively again.
Have fun; get together with some mates and have a laugh. Free up some quality time for valued social contacts. A good natter is a great way to get things off your chest and look at things in a different perspective – another person’s input can do wonders.
All change: move your furniture or improve your workspace. A new working environment doesn’t have to cost the earth. Move your desk, make sure you surround yourself with nice things, as this in itself can be refreshing.
Go to an interesting exhibition: take a peek at what other great creative talents are up to, go to a museum and look out for a discipline you might not usually pick.
Pen it and pin it: Write ideas down. It doesn’t matter how random they are. Doodle, jot, paint and cut out and pin anything that attracts your attention.
Approach your work from a different angle: this could be by asking your client more questions or discuss ideas with a friend or someone who doesn’t work in the industry. It’s surprising how a different perspective can sometimes spark a new idea you hadn’t considered before. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and human interaction is often the way out.
Feel green: By this I mean get out into nature. Our big world has so many awe- inspiring things to offer. Challenge yourself and go on a long hike – it’s surprising how this can often clear your head to make way for some awesome ideas.
And what about the back garden, balcony or a park? The smell of the soil and literally being in touch with Mother Nature is always a great way to relax.
Take a break: This could be a holiday or a long weekend off, time permitting of course! Taking a step away and recharge your batteries.
It’s only work in the end: No I don’t mean it’s not to be taken seriously. By getting stressed and feeling hugely under pressure can be your own worst creative enemy! Take it one step at a time, enjoy the process and try not to see a project as a matter of life or death. You will be amazed at what this mind-set can do for your creative spirit.
Look for something new: Maybe you want a bigger change to get your creative juices flowing again. A new job could be just the remedy. In that case you might want to take a look at our latest jobs for some life changing inspiration: http://www.thecreativemovement.com/latest-jobs/