How to get your creative juices flowing


This week marked the fifth anniversary of my Another Poster account on Instagram, where I've posted hundreds of posters, mostly daily.

I put up 30 of some of the most popular posters from the past five years as a way to commemorate the occasion. I got a lot of questions about how I managed to come up with so many different concepts because they sometimes struggle to come up with their own new ideas.

If you're a designer, illustrator, or student, you're probably familiar with creative blocks. You may believe that you are incapable of coming up with anything worthwhile or that your ideas have run out. However, do not despair—there are ways to re-ignite your creative juices.

Creative roadblocks are not uncommon.

For graphic designers, poster designers, and other creatives, creative blocks are common. When you're stuck on ideas, it's beneficial to have some strategies in place to get your creative juices flowing again. Here are some pointers to get you started.

1. Keep an open mind.

It can be difficult to break out of a rut and consider something new and different, which is why letting go and maintaining an open mind is critical when attempting to overcome pressure for perfection or success.

We need to let go of our inhibitions and think freely without fear of failure. If you're unable to think of anything on your own, brainstorm and make a list of potential ideas before you begin.

2. Overcome your fear of failure.

While this is easier said than done, it is critical to overcoming the fear of failure or making mistakes when attempting a new creative endeavour—whether graphic design, watercolour painting, or another creative endeavour. While not every idea will be successful, you can learn from your mistakes and try again.

3. Simply begin.

While it's natural for us graphic designers to desire the perfect graphic or design before beginning, this is a surefire way to procrastinate. Simply begin with your ideas, sketches, graphics, and designs, and you'll be amazed at how quickly your ideas flow from there.

4. Be inspired by others.

To find new inspiration, look to graphic design, illustration, or other graphic artists. It's an excellent way to approach a project differently and break out of a rut in your work. By observing others and experimenting with new techniques, you can discover the inspiration you seek.

5. Allow yourself to have fun.

Apart from graphic design, it's easy to take life too seriously. While you may feel as though it is time for work, try to allow yourself to play (even if you are exhausted) and enjoy life. Whether you're using your graphics tablet or your smartphone, having fun is critical! This can generate new ideas and cause you to think differently.

6. Let go of preconceived notions.

If graphic design or illustration is your livelihood, it can be difficult to let go of failed designs or assignments that did not pan out. When things do not work out, it is critical to move on and not let your past failures hold you back. You'll be surprised at how a new beginning with a new idea can re-inspire you.

7. Visible distractions.

While open floor plans are ideal for graphic designers and illustrators, they can also be distracting. When working on graphic design projects, try to find a quiet space where you can go to be inspired or close the door and put your headphones on if your family is too noisy.

8. Allow for some breathing space.

It's natural for graphic designers and illustrators to feel weighed down by work, school, and life, which can also act as a creative impediment. Allow yourself some time away from graphic design to help clear your mind, and then return refreshed to your graphic design project/work.

9. Experiment with various styles.

Diversifying your portfolio may not be a priority if graphic design is your full-time job; however, if graphic design is a side gig or you're an entrepreneur, it can be beneficial to experiment with new styles used by other graphic designers to gain inspiration. Diversifying your graphic design work can help you generate new ideas.

10. Try something new.

If you at times feel bored with graphic design, you're not alone. However, try something new with graphic design or illustration. Perhaps this entails learning a new programme, such as Cinema 4D or Adobe After Effects, or experimenting with different media, such as pencil and paper. If graphic design is your passion, it's critical to continue experimenting and broadening your horizons.

11. Speak with graphic designers.

It's easy to believe that no one else feels the same way you do in graphic design, but graphic artists are everywhere! Even if graphic design is not their primary occupation, graphic designers are excellent sources of information and advice.

Additionally, they may be able to shed some light on graphic design or provide you with a fresh perspective on existing graphic design projects.

Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas of ways to start getting your creative juices flowing. If not, don’t worry—there are plenty of other techniques out there that can help jumpstart the process.

The important thing is to find what works for you and to keep at it. Creative block happens to everyone but with a little perseverance, you can overcome it and create amazing things.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful week!


This week’s blog post is now online!

Subject: 10 marketing ideas for freelancers and small graphic design businesses

📚 What I’m reading right now

By Chris Bailey. Hyperfocus: How to Work Less and Achieve More. We waste valuable time in this modern era, where daily distractions from our smartphones, modern work environments, and other sources have overloaded our attention.

According to the most recent neuroscientific research, our brain has two powerful modes that can be unlocked when we use our attention effectively: a focused mode (hyperfocus), putting all of our attention on one thing, which is discussed in the first half of the book, and a creative mode (scatterfocus), which is discussed in the second half of the book when we purposefully allow our minds to wander for them to generate new ideas.

He explains how the brain switches between these two mental modes and why combining them is essential for working at our most creative and productive levels.