Being in the creative industry is a fun job, we get to create all sorts of different art and designs, whether it be graphic or web related. Staying creative however can be a tough task at times, especially when we are trying to create something that has never been created before.
Lucky for us there are many websites and various tips and techniques to help keep your creative juices flowing. Here I will go over some common and some not so common ways to help you stay creative in those un-creative times.
1. Get some rest
Perhaps something that has been hammered into your brain since you were a little kid, get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can leave you drowsy and unable to concentrate. Getting plenty of rest can help improve your brain performance and memory. It would obviously be pretty hard to be creative when you’re tired and unable to concentrate.
2. Make mistakes
People think making mistakes is a bad thing, but it’s not. Making mistakes is what helps us learn and evolve as individuals, this is especially true for people in the creative industry. Mistakes can turn into great things, take a look at the slinky for example. Naval Engineer Richard Jones was trying to create a meter to monitor power on naval battleships, while working with tension springs one fell to the ground. The spring kept bouncing after it hit the ground, and from there the slinky was born.
Other great things that came from mistakes include chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, fireworks, microwave ovens, and post-it notes. So you see, great things can come from mistakes, so embrace them!
3. Get feedback from others
Getting helpful feedback from others is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and gain new ideas. Talk with other people about projects or anything for that matter, and see what their input is and what kind of ideas they have. The minute I run dry of ideas I start discussing projects with co-workers and within seconds ideas start piling in and creativity takes over.
4. Take a break
Step away for a few minutes. Whether it be from the computer or wherever you may be, take a break and do something different for a little bit to help clear your mind. Doing this can give your brain a break and help you relax while you gather yourself so you can be refreshed when you continue working.
5. Get away from the computer
This goes along with number 4, step away from the computer! Funny thing, in the past when I first started working full time as a developer I would take breaks at work and just go browse Twitter, read the news online, and check my email. I didn’t even leave the computer. This is the same for many people, they eat their lunch or take their breaks in front of a computer screen which defeats the whole purpose of a break.
Go for a walk or bike ride, go grocery shopping or do laundry. Believe it or not there are countless things you can do that don’t involve a computer (crazy right?!?). Sometimes all it takes to spark some creative ideas is for you to clear your mind and go out and do something away from your computer,which brings me to my next point…
6. Have a notepad within reach
This is something I’ve personally been doing for years. For whatever reason I get my best ideas and greatest creative thoughts at the worst times, more so while I’m laying in bed trying to fall asleep. That’s why I keep a notepad next to my bed, so when creativity hits me I can jot it down real quick so I don’t forget it before morning.
Now, I’m not hipster enough to carry a cool notepad in my back pocket, but I do frequently use the notepad app on my phone. Whenever I may be out and about and a great idea hits, I’ll type it out in the notepad app. Either way you choose, whether it be a good ‘ol fashioned notebook and pen, or an app on your phone, it’s a good idea to always have a place to jot stuff down because you never know when creativity may strike.
7. Be open to different things
The most popular artists and designers in the world are popular because they are open minded when it comes to creativity. Frank Zappa said it best “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” Being open to new things can give you a new point of view on things, a view which you may not have seen before, which can be greatly beneficial in the aspect of being creative.
8. Listen to music
Experts have proven that listening to music changes the way the brain works by opening up new patterns in the way the brain thinks and it also improves cognitive functions. Listening to music triggers the release of dopamine, which results in a feeling of pleasure. These things can help open your creative thinking pathways and be greatly beneficial in being creative.
9. Visit some creative websites
I know this is counter intuitive to number 5 on the list, but there are plenty of websites to go to to help get the creative juices flowing. Sites like ours, Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance, and many others host some of the best designs on the web and they’re all great places to gain inspiration.
There you have it, go ahead and give these tips a try next time your brain runs dry. These tips are helpful in providing great inspiration while designing and giving you the creative boost you need. If you have any more tips or suggestions that work for you please let us know!