profession December 13, 2017

Creative block: how to kill the monster!

We all have those days when we need our brain to go right but it keeps going left (actually, mine always go left because I’m a leftie, but you get the point). Those are the days when we struggle because we are on a tight schedule, the project is almost due and we haven’t found the answer or done everything that we should have.

If you are having (or had) one of those days, I’m sorry to tell you my friend, but you have what is called a creative block.
This is how you can slay the dragon:

1. Create lists and inspiration boards

I do this on Pinterest but there are a lot of resources that you can use both online and offline.
The important thing is that you can go back to the files that you felt inspired and excited about.
Also, create task lists. They will help you to organize your time and you will feel a lot better once you see your tasks going away. I normally write them in a notebook or use Swipes.

2. Use the right amount of panic

Being stressed isn’t a good thing and will probably block your creativity even more. But if you use the right amount of panic, it will make your brain more alert because you feel that sense of urgency.
Keep in mind that I’m not telling you to start eating everything in your fridge like the world is ending, that’s not the point. Just be alert and energetic about the whole task.

3. Focus on the problem instead of the solution

It helps me to think about possible restrictions on a certain project. This way I don’t stare at the great dark abyss until some idea comes along.
Write down what you can’t do or use.

4. Stalk, steal and look for the unusual

I do this A LOT. When I find some project or companies that I really like, I usually follow them online. I keep one eye out for their work and try to dissect it to understand what I like and what would have done differently.
It’s also a good idea to look for inspiration far from what you’re doing. I have a soft spot for animation movies so I usually go in that direction when I feel stuck.

5. Get away from unnecessary distractions

It won’t help if your brain is stuck and you are always thinking about something else. My advice is this: if it’s something really urgent or something that will make you feel less anxious, go ahead and do it. If it’s not, leave it and drop it.

6. Do something else

Sometimes is a good thing to focus our attention on something else.
Do something that will make you come up with solutions to other problems besides the one you’ve been focusing on. You will see things from a new perspective after spending some time apart from the problem.
I recently discovered this very cool tool online that made me laugh and recover from a creative block. Try it out!

7. Fake it till you make it

I had one Design teacher at the university that used to tell us that inspiration doesn’t exist and doesn’t happen by magic.
So, following her advice, try and fail often but keep on trying. The fact that you haven’t found that solution that makes you confident and excited about, doesn’t mean that you don’t have it within you.

These are my main tips for dealing with the monster called creative block that consumes us all from time to time.
Please leave your feedback and if after all of this you are still stuck, read more blog posts on Melted. I’m sure it will help you out!

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