How To Overcome Roadblocks In Creativity

sketch-padStaring At a Blank Piece of Paper
If you are a student or professional in the liberal arts field, there are situations where it feels as though you have gone to the idea fountain once too many times; it seems dry and empty.

When you need inspiration and can't come up with anything creative, staring at a naked canvas, blank sketch pad, imageless camera viewfinder, or a bare computer screen causes a sense of frustration, worry, and apprehension. "Why can't I think of something creative? What's wrong with me?" you think to yourself.

Don't Give Up. Don't Give In

The fact of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with you at all. Consider sports figures; even the great basketball player, Michael Jordan, had days when he wasn't performing up to his athletic abilities. What did he do in cases like that? He kept playing and made adjustments.

"michael-jordan3Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." -Michael Jordan

Creative thinking skills can be fatigued just as the physical body can get tired from overwork or stress. In situations where the juices aren't flowing, don't lose heart, and don't give up. It may be as simple as taking a few hours off to take your mind totally off the project to making yourself a nice cup of tea to relieve the tension.

The idea is to relax and take the pressure off of you. Good creativity rarely thrives in an environment of stress. This can be easily seen by viewing television commercials. "What were they thinking?" we ask when we see lackluster advertisements. Obviously, part of the problem had to do with the ad team being constantly under strain.
If you are not under pressure, the lack of creative ideas may have to do with several factors:

  • Fear of failure
  • Overcomplicating the solution
  • Feeling that the best idea/solution has already been done
  • Not enjoying the process of problem solving
  • Lack of time off

Creativity can also be developed by exposing yourself to the ideas and concepts of others. Keeping an open mind is crucial if you want to make the most of your creative processes.

The next time you face "the wall" and are struggling for a creative idea, remember that all roadblocks are only temporary in nature, and can be overcome with a detour.

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Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design
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Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design (Online)
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Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
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