If you are a designer and have never dealt with designer’s block, you are probably a superhero. For us mortals, designer’s block is a pretty common problem. There are occasions when we sit in front of our screen, and our creativity just evaporates.
I have spent many hours trying to get rid of this annoying wall. It took some time, but I have found some tactics that work best for me. So, do not panic! In this article, we will share five ways you can overcome designer’s block and get back on track.
From innovative sources of inspiration to the importance of collaboration and food, nothing will be left out. But first, let us analyze what designer’s block is and how common it is among creatives.
What is the Designer’s Block? Can You Force Creativity?
In a few words, designer’s block is nothing but a situation where you are stuck as a designer. In this unpleasant moment, you feel like you are losing your design skills and creativity.
Fortunately, this is not permanent. Of course, you are still a great designer. You should know and embrace that designer’s block happens to almost every creative out there. Even the most experienced of us. So the first thing you should do is to stay calm.
Remember that you can not force creativity. When designer’s block comes knocking on your door, you need some time to recover.
So instead of panicking, take to heart some practical tips that will help you regain your confidence and creativity.
How to Get Rid of Designer’s Block?
1. Take Care of Yourself
In some cases, designer’s block is your own body’s reaction. Think about it. How can you perform well when you are tense with pressure? There are many ways to take care of your mental and physical health. For example, you can take a break and have a snack.
Sleep is also critical when it comes to avoiding designer’s block. Recent research has shown that creative thinking is directly related to our periods of sleep. Lack of concentration, more mistakes, and erratic behavior are just some of the consequences of insufficient sleep.
For this reason, napping is a smart solution to designer’s block. So if you are feeling unproductive, first make sure you are not tired or hungry.
2. Change Your Location, Get Inspired
But what if you’re not hungry or tired? There are situations where we are stuck in front of a project. If that’s the case, you should decide to take an inspirational break.
The first thing you can do is to change your location. If you are working from home, you should get some fresh air. There are numerous sources of inspiration that can help you overcome designer’s block. Personally, I take a break and visit one of the following sources:
- Parks: Nature will calm you and help you get inspired.
- Art Galleries: A designer’s best friend. Visiting an art gallery can help you find the missing elements for your upcoming project.
- Coffee shops: Quiet coffee shops are an intelligent way to get inspired. What’s better than a big mug of coffee and relaxing music?
Alternatively, watch a movie or a TV series. This may sound like an unorthodox way to get inspired, but it works perfectly when overcoming designer’s block.
3. Explore the Power of Collaboration
More than 90% of graphic designers in the world are freelancers. Although freelancing is an exciting job, it can be pretty lonely. The next time you are struggling with designer’s block, you might want to ask for some help.
Other UI or UX designers can help you see a project through different eyes and find the missing design elements. For this reason, collaborating with other designers is a great way to overcome designer’s block.
On the other hand, you can also ask your friends or family for ideas and feedback. Remember that inspiration can come from anyone.
4. Plan and Break the Project into Chunks
Most times, I get stuck as a designer, it is entirely my fault. To be precise, there are many cases when we do not plan the project efficiently. When the work is overwhelming, the lack of a well-organized plan can be why.
The best thing you can do is to take a step back. Take a look at the work that needs to be done. Then, you can start breaking your project down into small sections. If you reorganize everything, you can get rid of designer’s block in a matter of minutes.
Try not only to organize your tasks but also to manage the time you will spend on each chunk. This will probably help you understand that you have more time than you think.
5. Apply Some Pressure, Just Start
Unfortunately, few of us have infinite time to find inspiration. Most professional designers work with deadlines. That’s why putting pressure on yourself is not always a bad thing.
After following the above tips, all you have to do is start. Don’t forget that the designer’s block will remain until you start designing.
When I try to apply some pressure, my first drafts are usually bad. But after a while, everything comes back to normal.
If none of the tactics analyzed above helped, you can always use one (or more) of the following quick tips:
- Take a short break (5 minutes or so);
- Start with the most challenging task;
- Go for a walk or exercise;
- Ask for more information about the project. Sometimes, the client can help you overcome designer’s block;
- Think about what is distracting you and solve it.
Remember, every creative out there has faced designer’s block at least once. So there’s no need to panic at all. Of course, not all of us deal with it in the same way. That’s why you should first try out the tips above and find out what works best for you. This will help you overcome designer’s block and regain your skills as a designer.
Featured image via Pexels.