Whether you work in creative field or just dabble with your imagination at some point you may have noticed that occasionally your muse can go missing. You hit the wall or your brain just straight up stops working usually as a deadline is looming. Just because the talonX team are professionals doesn’t mean we don’t experience the creative block phenomenon – if anything those in creative fields experience it more often than they let on.
Jackson Pollock, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway all had ways that they kept their creativity rolling. Hemingway would stop writing while he was ‘on a roll.’ He would famously stop writing mid-sentence so that he would leave himself a great place to come back to later, his reasoning was that it would enable him to easily step back into inspiration.
Unfortunately, we’re not all Hemingway’s and creative block strikes usually when you need to be on your game the most. Fortunately for us, there are many ways you can get the muse back.
Kim – Content Development
I get over writers block best when I do something very dependent on my body and not my brain. I have a membership for all the City of Calgary pools for just this reason, when my creativity is drained I go swim laps. I find that when my mind is on auto-pilot my creativity tends to flow better.
Of course, I usually get a brilliant idea while I’m in the pool and then I have to somehow remember it until I get to my phone and write it down – not so easy for someone like me, who has the memory of a goldfish.
I find that music helps me find my inspiration also. I put my headphones on, turn up the music, close my eyes and think about the project. Music doesn’t just help inspire me, it also helps me get into the right mindset. For mellow projects I listen to trance or Shakey Graves, for harder hitting projects I listen to anything from TOOL to Jay-Z, whatever helps the content flow.
Andres – Website Development
For me, when I’m stuck on a project the best thing is just to forget about it completely and do anything else, literally anything other than working on it. Walk, eat, hike, yoga, whatever it is, just something that requires my full attention. Then when I come back to it I can rethink the issue since I’ve put it out of my mind I can look at the project with fresh eyes and usually get inspired again.
If I’m really stuck on a project I sleep on it. Sometimes I just need to think about it for a long time, days even. All of the sudden it will click, usually while trying to fall asleep or in the shower – you know super inconvenient times.
Of course, there’s also asking for a fresh set of eyes, get others thoughts. At some point I’m thinking, “wtf am I doing? I don’t even know what looks good any more!” Then I ask someone and they tell me if it looks super ugly or amazing. If what I’m working on is looking ugly, someone else at talonX will tell me it is shit – usually Courtney.
Courtney – Design / Marketing
Just like Andres, I take a break from whatever is making me lose my shit. If I’ve been looking at something too long, I’ll try to clear my head by taking a nap or watching a movie, just doing something that occupies my mind so when I go back to the project I can come back to it refreshed.
Here’s a shocker, designers are visual people, so when my inspiration well is dry I’ll so some research. Pinterest is my go to, I look at things that inspire me and start sketching ideas from there. I’m not ripping off someone else’s work, just getting inspired. Sometimes it’s an amalgamation of multiple things I see but other times I’ll just use it as a platform to find my creativity.
Sketch! I try to get everything down on paper, even if it’s a dumb idea, super disjointed or juvenile. I’ll write down words that come to mind, and sketch out as many of them as I can.
Nick – Creative Director
I like to push through creative block. I think it is partially a state of mind, I like to try and push past it. I go as far as is comfortable and then I push some more. Once in a while I get really stuck, for those times I have a foolproof way of getting back on track.
I collaborate. Seeing as this is my crew, I get to do the hiring. I am adamant about hiring highly collaborative people. We all work in one office at the same table, when I’m stuck I ask the talonX team to help me brainstorm ideas and it pretty much always works.
We have a bar cart in the office which helps when we’re really strapped for ideas. We have been known to break out the martini’s near the end of the day and BOOM, it is idea-palooza in our office.