What’s a creative’s biggest fear? For me, it’s the fear of burning out. Of coming into the office, staring at the screen and thinking “*expletive*, I’ve got nothing!”
So how do you prevent this from happening? I call it ‘feeding the creativity machine’. To keep a fire burning you have to constantly add fuel, and creativity is no different. Your creativity feeds on inspiration. You probably can’t go off and stare at the Sistine Chapel ceiling or look out your window and see the Aurora Borealis, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired at work.
Here are the best places I’ve learnt to seek inspiration from in the last 3 years as a graphic designer:
Pinterest is your best friend. It’s a great place to stay up to date with design trends and see what other creatives are doing. Sometimes I don’t even search for anything on there, I just scroll through and see what kind of weird and wonderful things come up.
Two minds are better than one. The simplest answer is often just to get a second opinion. No two creative people will ever interpret a brief the same way, so if you’re stuck, open it up to the table. The more ideas the better!
There are tons of inspiring design-related instagram accounts out there: it’s not all Kardashians and food porn.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, some of my personal favourites are:
Doing something different
I think most creatives know the feeling of ‘looking at something for too long’ and just feeling like it’s going nowhere. No amount of tweaks or modifications are making any difference. In these situations, the best thing to do is just have a break and come back to it with fresh eyes. Maybe work on another project for a while, or just pick it back up after lunch.
Getting out of the office
The best source of inspiration comes from exposure to new ideas. Try to organise some trips to relevant conferences or workshops and do something out of the ordinary for a day. Just being somewhere different can be enough to lift your creative block.
Some other great websites to help: