As graphic and web designers, we’ve all been there: You’re on deadline and the creative well has run dry. What do you do when the inspiration light won’t turn on? Here are a few suggestions to jumpstart those creative juices:
Collaborate with other creatives: Many designers feel that a key to staying inspired is through collaboration. This can be achieved in several ways, such as face-to-face meetings or through social media.
- For those in Tucson, the American Advertising Federation Tucson’s event page is a good place to check out: http://www.aaftucson.org/pages/events.php. Also check out Ad2 Tucson’s event page at http://www.ad2tucson.com/events/.
- Nationwide, AIGA – the professional association for design – has events across many of its chapters at any given time. You can find them at http://www.aiga.org/Events/.
- HOW Design has several conferences throughout the year with different areas of focus, such as creative leadership, in-house management, package design, print & web design and freelancers. Visit http://www.howdesign.com/design-events/ for more information.
Stimulate your artistic genius: Browsing the creative works of others online is another way to motivate. Here are a few collections we found illuminating:
- Web Design Ledger assembled 11 cool uses of textures and patterns in web design: http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/11-inspiring-examples-of-textures-and-patterns-in-web-design
- Hongkiat.com compiled 80 unique portfolios that are sure to bump up your creativity at http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-portolio-designs/.
- HOW Design put together their April top 10 websites for designers: http://www.howdesign.com/design-creativity/top-10-sites-for-designers/top-10-websites-designers-april-2014/
- A site that simply sells royalty free stock photos and illustrations, such as Thinkstock (http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/) or iStock (http://www.istockphoto.com/), can trigger inspiration.
Turn the page: While the internet is an amazing tool, it’s often times a good idea to push back from your workstation and pick up a book or flip through a magazine (remember, those bound objects with words and photos on them) for a creative boost. An amazing art or design book can certainly create a spark, but don’t limit yourself to just artistic themes. A well-thought-out magazine layout or an interesting photo angle is often all it will take to light that fire.
Going for the Goldsworthy: Andy Goldsworthy is a Scottish artist whose medium is nature. For this Goldsworthy-inspired activity, create works of art with the objects you find on hand. Taking this exercise outside and letting nature organically inspire you is ideal, but you can also have fun with indoor items. See what arrangements you can come up with and push yourself design- and composition-wise. Check out http://www.howdesign.com/design-creativity/design-inspiration/goldsworthy-creativity-exercise/ for details.
Project Swap: If you have the luxury of working in a multiple designer department, this idea can help when you’re in a creative rut. If you’ve taken ownership of a particular project for an extended period of time, consider moving projects around with a co-worker to try something new and get you both out of your comfort zone. While comfort with a project’s particulars is good, it can also lead to uninspired work because the designer is no longer challenged.
Embrace the great outdoors: We know you’re on deadline but if everything else has failed to inspire, take a short break and go outside. The change of scenery and fresh air will help to reset your brain and hopefully release some new ideas.
Whether you need a creative brainstorming session or help executing your inspiration, the team at West Press is here to help make your vision a reality. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.