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My 10 Tips of how to Break a Creative Block


Every graphic designer or every person working in the creative industry knows them: creative blocks. You try to get your head around the job as much as possible but it just leads nowhere. I have such moments too and they are very frustrating of course. But there are a few things that help me break creative blockades in order to get back into a creative workflow.

TIP # 1 - BRIEFING MEMORY

I write important points of the briefing on little cards and mix them. Then I lay out the cards on a big table – like a memory game. Translating the briefing gets some oomph through this and I sometimes get new ideas.

TIP # 2 - TAKE A SHOWER

It might sound funny, but my best ideas are thought up under the shower. Maybe the soulapping of the water makes my creativity flow, I don’t know. But I can be quite sure that when I take a shower, I step out with a fresh body and fresh ideas in my head. Important: Write ideas down as soon as you’ve finished the shower!

TIP # 3 - EXERCISE

Sports always helps to get a tired creative mind going again – jogging outside is especially good. Fresh air combined with a good workout is the best method to „reboot“ your mind.

TIP # 4 - COOKING

I love cooking. When I have a creative blockade, chopping fresh vegetables and trying out new exotic spices helps me a lot to get a free head for a good, intense work session.

TIP # 5 - ELIMINATE MESS

It depends on the person, but usually if everything is in order then distractions are at a minimum. "A tidy desk is a tidy mind" - this is not just for your physical desk, but your digital desk too. I once spent a few hours organising 2500 images that were just numbered (which did not help anyone). So now if I need a certain image, I can view my options easily without losing precious time and creative power.

TIP # 6 - IDEAS AT NIGHT

It is proved that the human brain is extremely active at night. And indeed, many of my creative ideas I dream at night. The good thing is that I mostly wake up when I have an idea. I immediately write it down then so no idea gets lost.

TIP # 7 - RE-ORGANISE THE DESK/OFFICE

Re-organising my desk or office furniture helps me get a new perspective on things and projects for clients which can boost creativity. (Upon successful completion of the job, the desk or furniture is put back of course.)

TIP # 8 -HOLIDAY

When time and budget allow, travelling abroad is always a benefit for my senses. I love travelling to countries where everything is completely different than in Austria – another culture, another language, other smells, other food etc. This is how I broaden my horizon, which tremendously helps me in my creative job.