4 Practical Tips to Overcome Creative Block for Designers

4 Practical Tips to Overcome Creative Block for Designers


No doubt, it’s tricky to remain inspired and enthusiastic all the time. And if you’re a graphic designer, you can relate to the situation because the creative process needs you to be in the right mind-frame. 

It would be best if you also stayed inspired and focused on creating your best work. However, when nothing feels right, even after trying and concentrating, you know you’re going through a creative block. 

You can’t allow the creative block to stay long, mainly if your entire job is based on creativity. You start looking for inspiration frantically, such as exploring marketing strategies, because it’s essential to do the right things and set yourself up to produce your best work.

But how will it occur when you’re struggling with the dreaded block? To fix this, we’ve listed a few practical tips to help you.

Let’s explore them in detail.

Don’t Force Yourself to Be Creative

If nothing works, it’s best to leave it and don’t force it. In his book, designer and author Adam J. Kurtz wrote that “Forcing ourselves to ‘be creative’ is pointless. It’s not a manual skill that you either do or don’t, but a series of emotional and mental tasks that sometimes just don’t come together.” 

Designers go through a rough patch where they don’t feel creative enough to create the perfect design. If you struggle with something similar, don’t hesitate to walk away and give yourself a break. 

The author further explained, “We all know what our work looks like when we’ve stayed up all night and then see it with fresh eyes in the morning. So if there’s not an immediate emergency rush, I like to just walk away. Do something else and maybe let the ideas float in the back of your head until you’re ready to make the work for real.”

Pick Up a Monotonous Task 

When talking about taking a break, we mean to leave the creative work and pick up a different task. You can start from basics, such as cleaning your house or doing dishes. It may sound ridiculous, but it may help in clearing your mind. Believe it or not, but a simple, systematic task is what your mind needs to reboot. Try watching design documentaries on a big screen using a multimedia device that too comes under budget and won’t cost you a heft amount. Invest in best projectors under $100 to stream artistic movies. 

Moreover, you can also start washing dishes when struggling with creative block as it doesn’t require cerebral activity. Once you are done with the dishes, you might want to restart your creative project.

Generate an Idea

After the researching and studying phase, it’s time to collect ideas and information in one place. These ideas might connect or can be different entirely. 

If the ideas have similarities, designers can assimilate them quickly. Moreover, the idea-generating phase enables you to experiment. 

And it doesn’t hurt to explore different resources to find an exclusive idea, such as superhero logos or symbols of premium brands in your niche.

Evaluate your Work Habits

There’s a possibility that your creative block isn’t the outcome of something dramatic. It might be your work situation that is not compatible with your creative process. Therefore, try to evaluate whether you work too early, too late, or too long. 

Maybe you’re working hard. And you don’t have enough time to relax. Take a look around mundane tasks, such as accounting, admin, email, etc. These tasks might be interfering with your real work. The best way to deal with this situation is to look for pain points and tackle them. 

Moreover, if you feel lethargic, identify if you’re working at the right time of the day. If you feel a lack of freedom, incorporate order and structure into your day. You need to look for the right balance and routine to feel more creative. 

Take Good Care of Yourself

There’s no harm in listening to your body. If you’re feeling the pressure, feel free to abandon your struggle. Allow yourself to breathe, get a snack or coffee, have a nap, etc. In simpler terms, do something different to relax your body. 

More importantly, be kind to yourself. As a designer, you need to opt for practicing self-care to rejuvenate your mind and body. As with a tired and overwhelmed body, you can’t produce your best work. 

Bottom Line

Creative block is real and troubling. The thought of being unable to feel yourself and not coming up with the perfect designs is frightening. However, you can reverse the situation, following simple tips and making slight changes.

When struggling to design something, try distracting yourself by doing a mundane task or going for a walk. Taking care of yourself is also essential to triggering a breakthrough.