7 Tricks to Help a Creative Block

Posted by Sabrina Peterson

Have you ever sat looking at a blank text document, page, or canvas and wondered how you ever managed to start new projects in the past? How you work through creative blocks will be different to what works for me, but understanding what they are and why they happen is a good starting point.

Creative blocks are such abstract notions that it’s hard to pin down a specific definition of what they are and why they occur. The general consensus seems to be that a period of time when an artist can’t access their inspiratio or can't bring themselves to creative new work.  Creative blocks can happen for various reasons. It might come as the result of criticism, physical or emotional drain or simply an unexplainable drying up of ideas.

1 .Go somewhere new

You may find you need a change of pace to awaken your inspiration. Heading out to a park, a drop-in work space or a café can shake up your thinking and inspire new ideas and a renewed vigour for working. Then again, sometimes you need a more dramatic change.

 

2. Go for a walk

A simple walk can do wonders for creative thinking. In fact, studies found that not only does going for a walk outside increase your creative ideas, but even walking on a treadmill indoors, facing a blank wall can do the same thing. It seems that the physical motion is as important as the change of scenery. 

3. Lots of reading and lots of sketching. The reading part is a long-term strategy: constantly consuming ideas, influences, details, angles, metaphors, symbols, etc., and storing them in the back of your brain so that later on—sometimes much later on—you have a rich catalog of starting points to draw from. Sketching is a way to activate all of that background information when faced with a problem: the act of drawing, of giving visual expression to many different ideas, helps you sort through all of those random elements and to make unexpected connections between them. The key is to sketch quickly, without getting caught up in the execution or technique. That way you stay in the realm of content, without getting bogged down.