Have you ever caught yourself staring into space, thinking of what other unique things you could incorporate to complete and enhance your design? And after wasting such time, still, you come up with nothing? Well, you’re probably suffering from a creative block for the moment, my friend. 

A creative block is a period that occurs when a person’s creative thoughts have run dry. As a designer, I found myself many times in this situation too, and it is frustrating that this type of condition is existing amongst us. It is one of our cruelest enemies because this could provoke fear, exhaustion, procrastination, and worst, self-doubt. We may start questioning our abilities to deliver on time and create such wonderful designs when in reality, it’s there. We just couldn’t find the right inspiration to keep our creative thoughts going.

But how do we keep ourselves inspired?

It’s a simple question, and yet many people find it hard to answer because the context is big. Here are some alternative questions that may narrow it down, and help you specifically think of your sources of inspirations.

  • What are your desires? Knowing your desires in life, material or not, will stimulate your brain to think of ways to achieve it, and this will trigger your mind to do the work. The same goes with your project. It is also important to observe and listen to what your client is feeling. What does your client desires, and how do they want your design to look like? 
  • What is it about that particular design that lures you? Sometimes, we get our insights from other designs that we encountered from somewhere else. For example, a designer saw Edvard Munch’s The Scream and became attached to the painting, specifically to the swirling orange sky. He liked it so much that he used it as his inspiration with revisions for his social media graphics design.  
  • Why do you keep on designing? Have you always seen yourself surrounded with the beauty of arts since you were starting? Does it make you happy? Remember the main reason why you started taking this path, and use that as a motivation to keep on working.

Aside from these questions to ponder, we’ve also prepared some to-do lists on how to keep yourself inspired when you feel like a creative block is about to attack.

Surf the Internet

1. Surf the Internet. This might sound cliché, but surfing the internet is what most of us do right now. Not because this is stereotypical, but because this is probably the fastest way and the most accessible source where we can find our possible inspirations. With our advanced technology, we could easily reach the internet and search conveniently for the best art websites even with just the use of our phones.

Think Inside the Box

2. Think Inside the Box. You’re now surfing the internet, but still don’t know what to look for? Why not narrow down your search to the things that specifically interests you and your clients. You’ll be able to encounter other communities who share the same hobbies, and possibly create or join a discussion group where you can review feedbacks or throw ideas back and forth for the benefit of all members.

 Think Outside the Box

3. Think Outside the Box. Now that you’re aware of what your niche is, maybe it’s time to think of something out of the ordinary. If you look at the same concept over and over again, chances are, you’ll get tired or get bored of conceptualizing ideas that you might decide to procrastinate. Sometimes, it is a good idea to look somewhere else and learn new things that are totally different to the things that you’re used to.

Observe Your Surroundings.

4. Observe Your Surroundings. Looking somewhere else doesn’t have to be far away. Just observe where you are at the moment, or where you are always at like coffee shops, parks, malls, and so on. These places usually display creative designs where you could pick up your next inspirations. Take note of how you perceive those designs, what is your initial impression, and how others react to it. This could help you draw your next design and somehow predict the possible reactions of your viewers.

 Learn from the Experts

5. Learn from the Experts. Taking lessons from the people who have already established their names in the graphic design industry is a learning curve for everyone, whether you are a newbie or not. You could be inspired and learn a lot from their works while you’re in the journey of making a name for yourself.


6. Meditate. If you feel like your thoughts are overflowing, but it’s all over the place and you can’t think of a way to make it cohesive and put it into one work of art, maybe it’s time to take a step back and breathe. Clear your mind and unplug yourself from all the stress for a moment. Putting yourself in a quiet place can help you refocus on your agendas and actually unlock new ways of thinking and inspirations. You can meditate while taking a shower, going for a walk, or even listening to music. So, take a break if you must, because these moments usually provoke some of the best impromptu ideas that could help you with the improvement of your work.

We all have experienced this kind of creative block at some point and somehow, it is inevitable. The good thing is, we can work around it by doing the things that were mentioned above and hopefully lessen the impact of it as we work on our designs. 

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