If you are a creative artist or designer then you must be familiar with that uncomfortable, some will even say horrific feeling of losing your inspiration and running out of creative ideas.
While I won’t claim that I’ve cracked the secrets of the muses and can provide you with fail safe methods to get inspired and creative at any given time, I can provide you with some techniques that will vastly improve your chances of re-gaining your creative energies and get inspired again.
When you have a mental creative block there are three possible main reasons: fatigue, lack of inspiration and lack of creative knowledge. Let’s see how each one can be handled.
Dealing with a Lack of Creative Knowledge
The more you read, research, sketch and learn to more inspirational ideas will come to you. Some beginners make the mistake of trying to come up with their so called masterpiece after only a few weeks of study. True inspiration is something that comes only after months and years of study.
- Keep a sketchbook with at all times and create sketch studies of everything that you find interesting around you, from day to day objects to artifacts in design museums. A lot of times you will discover that your own original sketches for new designs will naturally follow.
- Take some time to learn art and design history. The more you learn about the work of the great artists and designers, the more you understand what inspired them and how they dealt with various artistic challenges, the easier will it become for you to handle challenges of your own.
Dealing with a Lack of Inspiration
Even the most knowledgeable and skillful designers and artists will occasionally lack inspiration.
- Start keeping a visual dream journal. Keep a sketchbook next to your bed and sketch interesting dreams and images as soon as you wake up. Many times, surreal dream images can be developed into innovative designs.
- Creative writing, even if unrelated directly to visual design, can be really helpful in rejuvenating the creative juices. Keep a diary, write short stories or a novel and don’t worry about the quality. You are trying to wake up your creative muse and not win a literary competition.
Dealing with Fatigue
Sometimes, the creative well runs dry simply because you are tired. It sounds like the most simple advice, but it may be the most difficult to follow. If you recognize fatigue, and you need to be really honest with yourself in order to do that, it is better to take a few days off than to continue pushing it and increasing your frustration. A lot of creative artists and designers find it really hard to simply let go, even for a few days, some are even afraid they may never find their creative inner voice again, but taking some time off to be with your friends and family, or even to indulge in activities you never seem to find the time to do, can be really helpful.