As you may be able to tell from my clever blog title, I seem to be suffering from the dreaded creative block. Ugh. What's worse is that it's just in the attempt to come up with a cool idea for a blog! But while picking at my brain for crumbs of creative intelligence, and acknowledging that I am indeed starving for tasty nuggets of inspiration, a light - albeit it a very sad, dim pale yellow light - went off in my head to make my blog about…creative block! Brilliant?
It falls upon all who endeavor in the arts, whether it be commercial or fine, visual or aural, for hire or for fun. Usually - for me, at least - it happens at a time when I really don't have time for it. That's how it seems anyway. Maybe it's because intense concentration is the enemy of inspiration? Maybe. Because you're thinking so intently about getting the task at hand completed as you speed frantically down the desert road of ideas, you soon find yourself slamming on the brakes to avoid slamming into the road block barricades suddenly just 40 yards ahead. That can certainly be one of many possible causes, no doubt.
At any rate, creative block happens. It's inevitable. So what can one do about it? Here's some ideas.
Maybe creative endeavors just aren't your thing. Maybe you're just a hack. Maybe you should try another career path, like accounting or being a tax collector for the IRS. They say quitters never win. Well, the world needs losers too.
2) Punch a wall…or someone's face.
Nothing like a little rage to get those creative juices flowing. But be careful not to break your hand. Once the creative block has been viciously torn down by your act of blind rage, you'll find it nearly impossible to work with your paws all awkwardly bundled up in a cast.
3) Enhance your mind….with substances.
I find anything in the psychedelics family to be the most effective choice here. But if you're too wussy to go all out and possibly end up in the loony bin or jail, try a Monster energy drink. **takes 3 massive gulps**
4) Steal. Blatantly.
Go to your favorite design blog, find the first work that sparks an interest in your tiny void of a brain, an rip it off. Literally copy the design, color scheme and layout identically (You will, however, have to change out the content for your own. Bummer.) Chances are if it's featured on a design blog, it's good, so all of the work has been done for you already. Why bother yourself with being a creative genius when other designers far superior than you already are?
Well there you have it. After 12 years of design experience and a lifetime of being a so-called "creative" person, this is what I've come up with - a crapy list of 4 pathetic "ideas." Pfft!
In all seriousness (just incase you didn't pick up on the sarcastic tone of this blog) creative block is a real issue for creative professionals, but I don't know that it's got any real solutions.
I read once in a textbook for graphic design that the best thing to do when developing a concept is to not think about it too intently. Keep the problem somewhere at the fore front of your mind, but go about your other business, and when you least expect it - maybe when you're taking a shower, sitting on the royal throne, walking your dog, eating pork tacos, vacuuming you hair, shaving your lawn, doing hand stands in the rain, etc. - a solution will come. The catch to this "method" is that it requires you not to be in a time crunch. Dang.
Of course, there's the almighty sketch book. With your problem in mind, just start sketching. Any design should start with a pencil and paper anyway.
Looking at your favorite design/art blogs/books/magazines can really help too. But remember kids - plagiarism = bad. Being inspired or influenced = good. Let's face it - if you're an artist of any kind, you're inspired by work that has come before you, and that's totally okay. Just be sure to give your work a fresh twist of originality - something to make it your own.
To regurgitate an idea I recently came across on stimulating creativity, embrace randomness. I like this idea. To be able to do this, you can't be afraid to fail. You know, failure in the design world can actually be a good thing. Not overall failure of a concept or design, but failure in the initial stages of conceptualizing and comping is okay. These failures can lead you to your successes. The pressure to get it right the first time can be overwhelming and counter productive. So embrace randomness, and don't be afraid to fail. Got it?
Everything else aside, sooner or later the creative block, like the velvet rope at your city's hottest night club, will be opened up for your V.I.P. access into exclusive creative utopian bliss! It's inevitable.