How to Overcome Creative Block (Tips for Graphic Designers)

Graphic Design, Multimedia Art School, Multimedia Arts

surviving graphic design school: hands of an artist

Are you struggling for ideas, again? This experience is normal for graphic designers, but when this happens often, surviving graphic design school will be more demanding and troublesome. To make your life easier until graduation, here are a handful of tips on overcoming creative block.

Overcoming Creative Block and Surviving Graphic Design School

1. Assess yourself.

Before you panic and do something, assess yourself first. Discover why you’re not motivated and what hinders you from conceiving an idea. Therefore, if you’re missing something, what is it? Sometimes answering such questions before you conclude you’re facing a creative block will let your ideas flow again.

2. Start with something crazy.

The hardest part in completing a project is getting started. Further, pressure to succeed even from the get-go may overwhelm you. To break past that point, don’t let the fear of failure stall you. In addition, start with something crazy. What’s important is taking the first step, then worry about the results later.

3. Peruse great works.

Another means to draw inspiration is to appreciate great artworks. Flip through books and magazines and create an idea or mood board for later. Otherwise, make it a daily routine to catalogue and collect artistic or inspiring pieces. Tools, such as Pinterest, can help.

4. Catch excitement from the get-go.

When you’re excited over a fresh idea, it’s probable you’ll think of it often. Likewise, your vision may be vivid and your excitement can carry you through the early stages of your project. Later, when the momentum is harder to come, using your idea or mood board for reference can be a lifesaver.

5. Doodle on anything.

Grab a pen and paper, or open a drawing application, then doodle. In particular, sketching is important in design procedures. Draw anything that comes to mind. With this, you can sharpen your drawing skills. Further, your random scribbles may be the key to planning a fresh design concept.

6. Take time to recharge.

Even the greatest artists run out of ideas. Hence, when nothing comes to you, stop forcing yourself and recharge. Unplug, stroll outside, and unwind for a moment. Rather, focus your energy elsewhere. The finest ideas come when you least expect them. Therefore, always keep your sketchbook handy.

7. Pump up your jam.

Another effective way to fight a creative block is to listen to music. It can further encourage artistic thoughts and conceal other distractions such as background noise or talking people. Likewise, experiment with different music genres to discover what can make you more artistic.

8. Look for other perspectives.

Mingle and talk to people outside your industry. They may have different views that can help you find ideas and beat creative block. Besides, a casual conversation with friends or a stranger may give you that creative spark. 

9. Embrace your deadlines.

Although it may sound ironic, a deadline is sometimes the best cure for creative block. However, it’s effective and motivating for the right people. Maybe you want to improve your grades or impress your classmates and instructors. Whatever happens, deadlines will keep you going. 

10. Get more deep sleep.

An article from The New York Times states “recent studies suggest that any deep sleep,” whether eight hours or 30-minutes, “primes our brains to function at a higher level”. In addition, it argues that deep sleep lets us “come up with better ideas, find solutions to puzzles more quickly, identify patterns faster, and recall information more accurately.”

11. Write it or talk about it.

If creative block happens often, record when and what you’re working on when it occurs. What triggers it? Is stress to blame? You can talk about your project, too, with someone who has never seen it. Further, making him/her understand will help you get a better grasp of your concept. Sometimes it’s all you need.

12. Work hard, but play harder.

Adults should likewise play, in particular, those working in the creative field. Playing is, rather, a doorway to curiosity, discovery, and creativity. Besides, creating an environment where you’re free to work and play can help you take risks to start something new and exciting.

These tips have already helped many art students in overcoming creative block and surviving graphic design school. Likewise, if you consider pursuing a graphic design career, CIIT Philippines offers Diploma in Visual Arts and Design that suits your passion.


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