Creative Blocks: How to Work Through and Find Your Inspiration
It is very human to face creative blocks, regardless of the type of work you do.
As a senior designer for a dynamic company with a heavy workload and tight deadlines, I don't have the luxury of letting them get the best of me. As Professor Robert Winston says, great composers have come through creative blocks to produce outstanding works. That's great to know, but how do you get over it and FAST?
1. Manage expectations
When you realize you are stuck, it is important to manage your client or supervisor to make him or her feel that you have everything covered. Suggest concepts, get feedback and provide updates (basically, appear like you don't have a block). Ask plenty of questions, as you never know if an answer or insight will suddenly solve the problem for you. Either way, the communication will help the person understand the process and feel engaged, which buys you some time.
Recently, there was a project that stumped me: the "welcome to Chicago" brochure for the annual strategy meeting of our Senior Business Team. The challenge was to fit in a lot of content and yet maintain a nice, clean layout with the Affinity Express our corporate branding. Because of the length (which was around 2,200 words for a four-page brochure plus several images), I played with the layout for a couple of hours until I finally got the right format and style. It also took me some time to conceptualize a design for the cover. My first pass was abstract lights but then I received feedback that Kelly Glass explained that she wanted a cosmopolitan and bold look for the cover (maybe a stylized skyline with some effect).