Lost in thought? Try out these tips or tricks to get those creative juices flowing

Photo by Phad Pitchetbovornkul from Unsplash

By: Jessie Chen

As an aspiring graphic designer, I often hit many creative mental blocks when designing. It is something that irritates me a lot whenever I need something done quickly.

“Time waits for no-one and when there’s a deadline looming… you’ve got to pull something out of the bag.” – Interaction Design Foundation

As a senior in graphic design at Chico State, my everyday life is filled with creativity. Whether it’s for school, work or personal,  it is creative in some way.  

When taking creative classes and working with clients you will find that the first thing you will do is to ponder up some ideas. Whatever the task may be there is always a little mental block that will impede you at some point in your creative process. But don’t let that stop you, make it fun and throw in some wild ideas!  

Here are five tips and tricks or as I like to call them, rack your brain techniques that help me when I encounter a mental block to get those creative juices flowing:

  1. Take a break.

One of the many things people refuse to do is take breaks. From what I have seen and experienced first-hand, people will continue at something until they figure it out. But sometimes it is better to take a step back and come back to it later. For example, take a shower, get some comfort food in you, play some games, go hang out with some friends, anything to get that dopamine to release. This way you’ll come back with a refreshed mind, raring to go and finish that project!

2. Find a buddy

This is a fun one and it relates to the one above. Find a buddy or a friend. Once you find someone you can have a discussion with them about it. But of course, make sure it stays confidential if it happens to be something that needs to be withheld from the public until given the go-ahead by the client or whoever it is. Other than that, this gives you an outside perspective that will enrich your mind of how your creation might be perceived, and they might catch something that you didn’t see.

3. Write your ideas down

Writing your ideas down will help more than you think. It will help you remember you even had the idea, I’ve had a couple of times where I had the greatest idea and thought I’d remember it. Nope, I forgot about it at the end of the day. Other things you can do is create a web and jot down correlating subjects, concepts and colors. Overall, it allows you to see the bigger picture. The good old handy dandy technique process of elimination is another effective tool. This way, you will generate ideas that you wouldn’t have just by sitting there thinking

4. Ask questions

Ask yourself a question, it’ll help you a lot! It helped me a lot when I did some personal projects for my friends who did not know what they wanted at all. Trust me, it is very tough to get something going with little knowledge of what your client or friend wants. It’ll help you get into their minds and understand what your client or friend are thinking. As well as asking yourself a question puts you in the shoes of your client. 

5. Combine concepts 

Combine some concepts together to create some creative and unique ideas! Sometimes if one idea doesn’t work by itself, it just needs a little extra push.  Combining concepts when I had too many concepts saves me loads of time. Some concepts are just not as strong as the others, but combine two concepts together you can get something awesome produced.

Practice these tips and tricks and you’ll be sure to get over that old pal, the creative mental block. Don’t get frustrated over it, its a part of the process. This is the world of creativity is it not? 

Some extra tips check this out 

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