If you work with something that you can’t yet describe because you don’t know what it is or you make something out of nothing then you have probably dealt with a blank page/screen/recorder/space staring at you while hearing the clock tick. Working with the unknown is a double-edge knife. On one hand, it’s very fun to be able to translate whatever is in your mind into something visible to others. If only you were guaranteed that your creative self will create something brilliant every time. However, it’s doesn’t often happen that way.


For when the blank page seems to be staring at you, don’t panic. I have a personal recipe to share with you that usually works for me. I think the best advice I got was to not panic, that I will think of something. I will design something. It’s just a matter of time (sometimes a very short time).


1) My first step is to write down the ideas that I already had about the project and that aren’t working. In order to think creatively, I have to think different from what I have already written down. Our mind tends to go down the same paths and entryways and if we identify those paths by jotting down our ideas, it’s easier to avoid going down the road and coming up with clone-like ideas.


2) Okay, let’s say the first step didn’t work for you. You keep finding that same corner of your brain that you’ve been before. You keep having the same similar ideas. Well, then I say it’s time to freshen up and surf around the web for inspiration. And I don’t mean exploring around to copy other people’s work. Sometimes looking at different pictures and ideas builds connections in your brain that weren’t previously there. It’s like someone came inside your brain, swept all of your previous ideas, and placed new ideas on the table inviting you to connect the new with the old.


3) After having jotted down your ideas and searched the web, still finding yourself in your room with the blank page getting bigger and bigger? Well, maybe you are overwhelmed with what you have on the table. Too much clutter can take away the focus so try removing elements that you can work with. For example, what often happens with me is working on a layout that can appear anywhere from mobile to print. It’s really hard to make design decisions when you have to take into consideration a bunch of factors different media have. Then, I pick a medium such as print then I create a layout only for print and adapt it later to mobile. You can do more with a lot less.


What are your best ways to cope with creative blocks? My best advice is to use the stress arising from not coming up with an idea into thinking about one. Don’t worry, you will come up with something. - Pati

illustration by Pati Mo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in creative toolbox. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment