frankworks Logo | frankworks

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut | frankworks

Designers have all been in that position before where we stare at our computer or drawing pad for 8 hours straight coming up with below-average concepts that my dog could do better. Getting into a creative block is extremely frustrating and can lead to moments of self-doubt and anxiety that you are not in the right career. Thankfully I have come up with ways to help combat these feelings and moments of empty brain capacity to ensure I get my creative juices back. The worst creative rut was when creating my year 13 design board that I left till last minute and I had one week left to complete it. I didn’t sleep that whole week and had completely emptied the tank for creative design ideas which led to me feeling extremely burnt out by the end of it. I then decided I needed a healthier way to improve my creative processes and this is what I came up with.

1. Go for a walk

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut | frankworks

Obvious but essential, that when I am stuck sitting at my desk all day in the same environment it is hard to come up with new and exciting ideas. I am very much inspired by what I am surrounded by so taking a walk by the beach during sunset is what inspired me to come up with the colour palette for a drink brand I created. There is also the added benefit of the endorphins you get from doing exercise.

2. Listen to different music genres

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut | frankworks

I cannot design anything unless I am listening to music. I will usually play a genre that fits the aesthetic of what I am trying to produce, this helps me as the sounds of the song translates to the vibe I am trying to convey. For example, the relaxed, chilled, and surfer vibe I was going for with the ‘bevy’ drink brand was inspired by the sounds of the bands Sticky Fingers, Ocean Alley, and Mako Road. I love listening to moody techno music like flume when I am creating organic shapes for more abstract designs.

3. Pinterest!!!

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut | frankworks

Pinterest has been my holy bible throughout my design career if I needed to gain inspiration. I could spend all day talking about how much I love that website. I use it to look up what’s trending in the design world, I look up different aesthetics, I scour for creative ways to present logos and the list goes on. I think it is important to see what everyone else is doing but also put your spin on it to keep originality and to avoid making something that looks the same as everything else.

4. Look at different mediums

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut | frankworks

Just because you are just designing a business card does not mean you have to look up inspiration from other business cards. You can draw inspiration from different mediums like oil paintings, pottery, interior design, photography, sculpture, and many more. I am heavily inspired by interior design. If I were to design a logo for a cocktail bar I would be picturing myself in it, it would be an art deco style with pink and green velvet upholstered seats with luxe gold finishings. It is important to take inspiration from the surroundings of who you are designing for to make a more cohesive and immersive branding experience.

5. Bounce off ideas with someone else

5 ways to get yourself out of a creative rut | frankworks

The best thing about frankworks is that we can bounce off ideas from each other in our team meetings to offer fresh approaches to your design ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself and vice versa. It doesn’t even need to be a designer, you could even ask your mum if she had any ideas of what would be effective for your particular design. When you are staring at something for 8 hours straight you can confine yourself to a rigid design thought process and it only takes one person to be like “hey I think this would look pretty cool” for your horizon to expand to new design possibilities. 

If these things don’t work then I would be looking at if I am getting enough sleep and did I allow myself enough time to come up with ideas organically instead of a rushed scramble to get ideas together in a short period of time. Hopefully this blog helped you and if not have fun staring at your screen for another 8 hours tomorrow! – Jemma

Looking to build a website?