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Fighting Designer’s Block

November 28, 2016 - fifteen

I feel like I’ve been there one too many times. Picture the scene, you’ve been given a fantastic new job to lead the creative on, you’re ready and raring to go, but disaster! What I like to call “Designer’s Block” hits you. It’s a struggle I think all designers have come up against, but one that can be combated. The creativity is within you, it’s just finding the means to coax it out. I’ve put together a list of some things I like to do when I find myself struggling to be creative. Usually these things will inspire a spark in my head that will lead to great things!

Get Away From The Screen

It might seem a bit counter-productive, but what I mean by this is to explore other avenues of design than the ones available to you behind a screen. Draw, paint, collage, whatever! Use your hands, use tools, it’s all available to you and can sometimes inspire something completely unrelated. Sometimes a designer can get stuck in a mindset when they live their entire career behind the screen. Make sure you explore other mediums, you never know what stroke of genius might hit you!

Talk To Your Team

If you’re lucky enough to be part of a team of creatives, utilise it! Talk about your ideas, share them with your colleagues. I always say that every designer tackles a brief differently; so talking to your colleagues might inspire an idea that you may never have thought of! I try and meet with my fellow creatives whenever I start to hit a roadblock with a project. Most of the time it’s a case of being too close to a project and nit-picking, and a fresh pair of eyes is sometimes the key to success.

Inspiration Is Everywhere

Keeping your eyes open to inspiration in even the most mundane of places can sometimes help you strike gold. I remember watching a game show once that used a really nice transition between shots, and I tried to emulate a similar style in a website I designed and it worked really well! From nature to print, to rubbish tv, always keep an open mind into what can work across different mediums.

Put The Phone Down In The Evening, Try Something New

I know I’m guilty of sometimes being a slave to the screen in the evenings, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, or binge watching something on Netflix. It’s a bad habit, especially after spending all day at a computer (no wonder I’ve had to start wearing glasses!). I’ve started trying to immerse myself into something a bit different, mostly trying to read. I’ve got a huge back catalogue of comic books that have remained unread for a long time, so am trying to get through them in the evenings instead. I think it’s important to try and pull yourself out of a routine to keep your mind fresh!

Attend A Casual Meetup

A few of the team at Fifteen use the website meetup.com to find industry meetups local to us. It’s a great way to learn new skills and understand perspectives from people in similar roles. The design team like to attend DXN (Design Exchange Nottingham), a monthly meetup about digital design. They have guest talks from some great minds, we’ve previously attended talks about Ethical Design, UX Design and Framework Design. It’s a valuable experience, plus you’re surrounded by likeminded creatives, so even the atmosphere is abuzz with ideas! The development team have also attended events hosted from meetup.com. I’d definitely recommend having a look for local events that are relevant to you, a lot of them are free to attend too!

These are just some ideas I’ve found that have helped me out of a slump in creativity, and there’s plenty more tips out there for you to follow too! So don’t panic! You’ll get there.

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