Sitting at your desk and staring at a blank screen forever? No idea where to start? There are days where you seem out of your flow. You’re lacking inspiration and motivation. You’re not alone. Creative block is something that happens to all of us.
How to prevent feeling uninspired and unmotivated?
I think of creativity as a bucket. When I create something, I take my inspiration from this bucket. This is how I come up with layouts, decide on colors and fonts or find the missing detail in an almost finished design. Just starting to learn graphic design? Read this post: How to design without being a designer
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If you want to take ideas out of the bucket, you need to feed your brand constantly with creative things. My motto: You can’t be creative if you don’t have any input. I know when my bucket is almost empty because I feel less inspired, tiny tasks take longer, and I often get distracted. Question is, how do you keep your bucket full at all times.
10 ways to find inspiration for design projects
One of my favorite ways to find inspiration is looking through magazines. I like to keep a stack of magazines to flip through if I need inspiration for colors, themes, and styles. Fashion, interior design or home decor, as well as travel magazine, work great for this.
Pinterest is so amazing if you’re looking to get inspired because you can search for keywords. This is good if you already have a general idea. It’s also a great way to collect inspiration for mood boards. If you’re planning a bigger project a mood or inspiration board is a good first step for getting you started.
You can search for hashtags that inspire you or just browse your favorite feeds. Instagram is a great way to boost your motivation. All those amazing ideas and beautifully styled images can get your creative juices flowing. This platform is also good if you search for special styles e.g feminine or minimalist. Here are some Instagramers to follow:
Art exhibition/ museum
Take advantage of exhibitions and museums you have in your town. It’s a perfect excuse to get away from your computer and fill up your creative bucket. This is the kind of excursion in which you learn and discover something new. And discoveries always result in plenty new ideas.
Change of scenery
As we’re talking about getting away from your computer, sometimes it’s just what we need. Even if it’s only for an hour, the change of scenery will do you good. You can take a walk, meet with friends, or read a book. Let your ideas sit for a while and go back to them later. For me, this is the most effective way to get inspired. Once I occupy my brain with something different, I finally find the missing piece or have the idea I was searching for so hard. I know it’s tough to unglue from your computer and internet but, trust me, you will come back energized and motivated.
If you use images in your design, you can start your project by searching for the right image. This will often lay the foundation for your design. Browsing stock photography sites like unsplash always get me inspired. I use their photos for my blog post images or to create a mood board for a project.
Watching a movie not only helps you to take a little time-out from work but can also bring you a whole new bucket full of ideas. I am a big fan of quirky movies e.g. from Jim Jarmusch or Woody Allen and I love Wim Wenders’ films for their exceptional imagery. There are movies, you can watch a hundred times and still be inspired by them and sometimes you just need something light and funny to get distracted for a while before you go back to work with fresh ideas.
Read! There’s nothing easier than to find a good book and let yourself be transported into a new world to stimulate your creative mind. This doesn’t even have to be a huge classic tome or the new anthology of graphic design. No, almost any book will do if the author is capable of telling a captivating story. I like to pick up biographies of inspiring personalities or stories about living a creative life and sometimes I just grab a good Stephen King novel. The King knows how to tell a captivating story. Check out some of my favorite books on the tools & resources page!
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When I find myself staring at a blank canvas, I have found that the old school method of pencil and paper can help you out. Take some paper and just start scribbling. Often the ideas start to flow once you draw. I don’t know if it’s about taking the hurdle of the first step or just because you’re working with your hands but scribbling works. Try it out!
Go back to your why
As solopreneurs, we often get sucked up in the flood of work we have to hustle through on a daily basis that we sooner or later feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and uncreative. We forget to take the time to reflect on what we’re doing and we forget our overall goals. The reason why we are hustling so hard.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, going back to your “WHY” can help you to get back on track. Asking yourself why you started your business in the first place and what it is you want to accomplish is always a huge motivator.