Creativity isn’t something you are just born with. One has to develop it and constantly work on it otherwise even the most creative people will fall into a rut with no new ideas. So how do you keep things fresh? People in the creative field, like Architects, interior designers, fashion designers, film makers or animators, writers, artists, graphic designers etc. face this issue a lot. How to deal with Creator’s block or writer’s block or designer’s block. Call it what you will, the phenomenon spares no one and even the greatest creatives succumb to it at some point. So, how do you counter it’s effects? Let’s discuss some techniques to always think fresh and the recipe to generate new ideas everyday!
1. New ideas? New Experiences.
This one is obvious. The brain isn’t stimulated enough to churn out new ideas, if one isn’t having any new experiences. One can’t hope to do the same thing over and over again and expect different or new results. Thus, when you feel like you are running out of ideas, try doing something different. By different, I don’t only mean the millennial trend of taking a vacation. Every time you need to be creative, which for designers and students is almost 20 times daily, you can’t take a vacation!
New experiences can be small too. A new song, a new restaurant, a fresh walk outside the office, talking to someone new, reading a new book or watching a movie or video. Try creating some new experiences to give yourself a change of pace, a change of scenery and also the people around you. Believe me, this instantly makes your mind click and you will feel inspired within no time!
2. Write it Down.
Did you just think of something awesome? Write it down!!! Seriously, this writing trick has helped me come out of the most frustrating creator’s block situations. You can maintain a diary or just write it down on your phone etc. to keep track of all your amazing ideas. The idea doesn’t even have to be related to something you are currently writing/designing/drawing/creating. It could be the random est thing ever, but taking a note of it, and just going through this list when you are in trouble can spark new ideas or flash something you thought of before which could be relevant now.
3. The Right Research.
A thorough study of the topic (for a book, design or movie) is very important and this is crucial to not only get ideas but good ideas for your project. The right research is equally important. Its good to browse Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr for instant inspiration. But, thorough research isn’t about pinning stuff. Read a book, watch a documentary, interview specialists etc. to get the best and accurate information.
For architects and designers, try keep abreast with ArchDaily or Dezeen for design updates as well as detailed features on famous architects or successful projects. There are a lot of documentaries on TV and Netflix, pertaining to design, architecture, spaces etc.
4. Opinions are Welcome.
If you are stuck on something, get a fresh perspective. Ask someone else, a fellow student, a co-worker, even your dad. The fresh angle sometimes works wonders and it goes without saying that two minds are better than one. Sometimes, asking a colleague can be beneficial as they may point to something so obvious which might’ve slipped you or suggest something unusual which you can use or develop. Just talking it out with someone else, also sparks thoughts in your brain and you may accidentally stumble upon an incredible idea.
If all else fails, Sleep. Yes, it’s the best way to do just give your mind a break from the frustration, stress, tension and disappointment of not being able to come up with anything. Also, your mind is at peace when you sleep and background thoughts are erased. That means, you can subconsciously think about the most important thing that time i.e. your design, your story your poster etc. More often than not, after a good nap, one usually wakes up with some good idea or breakthrough which helps you to deal with creator’s block.
Often, when people come across artists, designers, painters or basically people in creative professions, they assume that their work is easy. Architects and Interior Designers have for decades heard the phrase, ‘Oh, you guys draw, right? That’s easy!’ Well, to put matters to rest, I will clarify that we do draw, but these are highly accurate technical drawings, not landscapes (not that those are easy) and require a high amount of skill, intellect and concentration, not to mention oodles of creativity. It can be daunting to think of different things, new ideas, every single day. For architects and designers, who are sometimes working on multiple projects, with multiple design features and have to think of new ideas for each elements. New sofa designs, false ceiling options, staircase details etc. etc. etc. for more than one project simultaneously.
Ideas, also aren’t something you are just born with. They have to be created and nurtured or else even the most innovative people would be boring. So, I hope this article helps you channel your inner creative genius and get you out of that frustrating Creator’s Block!