How to Overcome Artist/Designers Block
Updated: May 25
As designers our minds can occasionally get stuck and may need a vacation, and you get the feeling like you just can’t get a grip on a good idea. It is a natural occurrence and it happens to everyone! We want to help you by giving you 10 tips on fighting the inevitable designers block.
10 Ways to overcome being stuck in a rut…
Keep Calm and Don’t Panic!
It’s easy to start panicking when you are stuck in a design rut. Let’s say you have a deadline that needs to be fulfilled. Panicking will actually inhibit the success further. To overcome this, stay calm, realize you are in a block and truck on through.
Get Some Air
Sometimes what your brain needs is a change of scenery. If you are able, going for a walk or taking a workout break is probably the best way to clear your mind. Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that is responsible for happiness.
Working in a confined space with little socializing has the tendency to drive you mad. Likewise, if you do work in a social space, maybe the people drive you mad. So get outta there and grab a drink with friends. Talk to them about your designers block, or don’t. You can start fresh in the morning.
Clear Your Air Space
Clearing your air space involves clearing bias. There are many distractions that occur during the day, including too many opinions, from others or yourself. Turn off your phone, take criticism with a grain of salt and carry-on.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
As creatures of habit we often get stuck in a routine. This can be a huge factor when dealing with designers block, how will you ever get inspired by doing the same things everyday. So get out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself, if you’re looking for inspiration, go out and do it on purpose.
Clutter will not only take over your desk, but your brain as well. If you practise clutter in your habits, it is almost guaranteed to penetrate your mind as well. Organize your space, maybe you haven’t cleaned your house in a while. Clean your space and check back in when you are all finished.
Nobody is perfect! Before a successful product appears, 1000 prototypes are hiding behind the scenes. Rest assured it is ok to make mistakes in the design process.
Meditation is often misinterpreted. You don’t need to sit quietly cross-legged in a room to meditate. Meditation comes in many forms. That being said if you do enjoy the traditional sense of meditation, go crazy. However, if not, have a shower or hop in the car and sing as loud as you can, relay the events of the day, cook a good meal, or read a book. These are all considered forms of meditation, so take a break and sing like no one is listening.
Not all ideas are original. It is ok to find inspiration beyond your four walls. Hop onto Pinterest or observe people in a cafe and see what you find.
Give Yourself a Goal
Overall, do not ditch your original plans, set yourself a goal and check in to make sure you’re on track. But until then, take a break and get your groove back.
ROD L. ROWBOTHAM, OAA, MRAIC
CEO, President, Principal Architect