Dealing with Creative Block: Strategies | Harkes Creative

Dealing with Creative Block: Strategies

In the wake of Inktober I’ve asked people how they dealt with Creative Block.

This image is for the Creative Block Article.
When creative block strikes!

Creative Block is the worst. It is a common problem among creative people of all walks of life. From design, to music to writing to illustration, people from almost every profession can and will face creative block eventually. As varied as the cases of it are, so are the various solutions people come up with, so instead of handing you a catch-all solution or a “5 ways to deal with creative block” article, I’m just going to go through a number of different solutions I’ve come across in the past.

  1. Going for a walk: This is pretty much useful anywhere but especially good in rural environments. There’s just something about nature that calms us and gets our brains working. Maybe it has something to do with our roots, or maybe it’s just because nature is nice. Going for a walk, even in the city, frees up your mind to wander a bit and allows it to focus on other things. In the city you could even get some inspiration from the imagery all around you.
  2. Listening to music: This one can tie into my first point or it could stand on its own. Music is just so customizable an option and with the internet, you don’t even need to own any solid media. Just punch a song into YouTube and way you go. You can either just sit and listen and let the inspiration flow or you could combine it with a walk and really amp it up.
  1. Video Games: Several people I talked to use Video Games to inspire themselves when they’re feeling drained. Watching and interacting with the characters you love is a great way to help jump-start your creativity. Puzzle solving games get your mind working, adventure games ignite that spark of wanderlust, shooters immerse you in a world torn with conflict. So many options for any kind of creative funk.
  2. Social Media: The largest response I got was for various forms of social media so instead of listing each individually, I’ve grouped them. The platforms I saw mentioned were Pinterest, Behance, Instagram (hashtags), Dribbble and YouTube. This can also include going to an art gallery or similar location. It’s not exactly social media, but it serves the same fundamental role. All of these platforms or places provide different flavours of content that appeal to varying audiences but the effect is the same. Find a platform you identify with and search for content that serves to inspire you. This was definitely the largest response for a reason.
  3. Exercise and Recreational Activities: This one isn’t grouped in with walking for a few reasons. Walking is a slow, easy to maintain pace that allows the mind to wander naturally. Exercise is more vigorous and keeps the mind preoccupied with something else entirely. This can also include solutions for seasonal creative block. For example, Winter in Canada can be very harsh and long so it is good to keep one’s body in good shape to help keep creative energy flowing. Finally, this can include recreational activities such as hanging out with family, catching a game, or having a glass of wine. We are social animals and social environments can definitely help our minds work better in a creative capacity. This last point will be entirely based on the individual and how they like to spend their free time.

These are only a couple of strategies that friends have shared with me. Let me know of your strategies for dealing with creative block and maybe I’ll add them to this article in future.

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I'm a graphic Designer from London Ontario with a passion for bringing people's ideas to life. I've been an artist since I was a kid and now I create designs with an alternative look and a professional feel. Let me work with you and together, we'll create a design solution that best suits your company.

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