Every creative knows the frustrating feeling of hitting a blank wall. You’ve got your pen and paper out, your laptop, your sketchpad, or just about anything else to help you get creative. Except when it comes time to put ideas down to paper, you realize you’ve got nothing. You’re left staring at a blank screen, scribbling on your notepad, or hopelessly looking out the window for some measly crumb of inspiration.
Now, it’s easy to blame this lack of creativity on COVID-19. After all, we’ve been spending less and less time interacting with our co-workers, our friends, and quite frankly, the world. So why should we expect our minds to be creative? All we know is that when you’re tired of staring out the window and you’re ready to shout “hey world, give me something to be creative about!,” you should consider these tips and tricks from a few of our team members first. While not a foolproof way to get your creative mojo back, they could just be the perfect springboard for new ideas and sources of inspiration.
One thing I like to do when I’m lacking creativity is to watch tv without the sound on. I know that might sound odd, but it actually works pretty well. You see, when you’re not focused on the sound or even the message being delivered, your eyes have free range to move around the screen. This is great because you’ll start to notice things you haven’t noticed before. You’ll pick up on the color or style of an actor’s shoes, the wallpaper plastered in a family’s kitchen, or maybe even the “extras” they cast. When you rely on more than just your ability to listen, you’ll start to see things in a different light and hopefully spark your creativity. It’s an interesting experiment that I’ve found to be useful on more than one occasion, so trust me, it’s worth a try.
ANDREA: CLIENT STRATEGIST/COPYWRITER
For me, it’s all about getting in the right mood with a great playlist. Whenever I’m about to write copy, I’ll pick a playlist that has a similar tone or feeling to the one I’m hoping to convey in my writing. This gets me on the same wavelength as the project and makes it much easier to write. I would also suggest following some art accounts on Instagram. While “copy” is the written form of expression, “artwork” is the visual form and it can be very helpful to tap into! Follow a few art accounts, go to your local art and culture museum (like the MAC here in Spokane!), or check out a few photographers in your area. All these ideas can help you paint pictures and scenarios in your mind that will hopefully and eventually lead to words on paper!
GENEVIEVE: GRAPHIC DESIGNER
We all have those days where we run into a wall with our designs. Whenever I feel stuck, I like to take a walk and get some fresh air to clear my mind. It’s important to take breaks and it’s something I’m always reminding myself to do! Also, keep in mind that design is EVERYWHERE. Look at the logo of your favorite coffee shop—what are they accomplishing with their brand? How and where are they applying it? How is that shampoo bottle you’re looking at different from the other ones? Does it stand out more? These are the questions that help me get into a better creative space for my own projects. Consider checking out websites like Behance and Dribbble, too, if you’re still stuck.
MADDY: CONTENT MARKETER/COPYWRITER
Sometimes it can feel like the hardest thing in the world to string together just one simple sentence. My recommendation would be to take a step away from all your electronics and simply pull out a pen and piece of paper. Whatever you’re trying to write about, start by jotting down as many descriptive words as you can about that topic. For example, if you’re writing about graphic design, your words might be “typeface, fonts, kerning, mood boards, brand awareness, etc.” Give your mind total creative freedom to blurt out ideas and thoughts without the constraint of writing perfectly from the get-go. Writing on paper also allows you to scribble, draw, and cover all corners of the page without worrying. It’s much harder to be “messy” and free-flowing on a laptop or Google Docs, and that can actually ruin your creativity! Start with pen and paper first next time you’re dealing with writer’s block.
We hope that you found our team’s creative strategies useful. Keep in mind that there will be days when the ideas flow better than others. While the solutions we’ve listed above are great for gathering some creativity when needed, sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break, get outside, call a family member, or do something you enjoy. It’s been a crazy year and oftentimes the best thing you can do is just take a breath.