A fourth client in a week just sent you an example of a rustic wedding invitation – the style that has been trending on Pinterest for the past couple of years. Again, you had to explain that you can t just copy and paste this design.
And now you promise to come up with something with the same mood and assure the customer that he will also like it. Well, now what ?!
According to Maddison Wallace, a designer at Paperlust, an agency dedicated to supporting independent Australian designers, everyone has moments where creativity gets stuck, ideas get sluggish and lacking in originality.
How do you come up with something new if every client always wants the same thing?
Maddison Wallace offers a list of several items, each of which is critical in the creative process, stating that any of them can help stop the flow of repetitive gray ideas. Now we will tell you how to find a way out of the vicious circle or not get into it at all.
1. Look for inspiration outside your usual comfort zone.
The first and most important thing that is necessary for the creative process is a source of inspiration, and it is not always hidden in the client s brief. The best inspiration comes from those things that are outside the field of work: a book cover or packaging design seen by chance, wallpaper or fabric, a postcard or a movie poster.
These can all be great sources of inspiration, whether you re working on a wedding invitation or a website header. Sometimes the best way to find your way out is to look elsewhere for inspiration.
2. Buy new skills
Building a portfolio of not only your work, but also knowledge is the key to ensuring that the creative process will never stall. It s not just a matter of directly applying new skills in your work – new skills will help you look at things with fresh eyes and see new relationships between them. Improving existing skills and gaining new ones allows you to think differently and more creatively.
Whether you feel like you re back at school when you watch YouTube instructional videos or just practice outside your comfort zone, these are important steps to stimulate new ideas. It doesn t matter if it is closely related to your work (typography, calligraphy, illustration, photography), loosely related (sketching, fashion design, screen printing) or even in another area (building, juggling, learning a new language or process), learning a new skill keeps your brain toned and helps you be more creative.
3. Engage in cooperation
Having people who understand your ideas and can inspire you is of great importance in solving this problem. As a result of such interaction, a variety of approaches is born, which means that creative thought is constantly in motion. Whether it s a group of colleagues, work friends, just a friend or a partner – in any case, such a collaboration allows two or more creative minds, working in tandem, to create something completely new.
It works at different levels, depending on who you are working with. If this is another professional, then you yourself can rise to a higher technical level, but if this is an ordinary person, then, probably, his completely fresh look will bring something completely new to your head. Both of these people are valuable.
4. Free time should mean complete freedom
Creative work isn t always easy or light-hearted. Sometimes it s hard work. Constant jumping between communication with the client (not always, by the way, positive) and the creative process, back and forth, is very harmful to creativity and, in general, does not help the birth of new ideas.
For the average freelancer, this means trying to manage your time wisely so that, after completing administrative tasks, take a break before moving on to creativity. Achieving this balance is one of the hardest things for an independent designer to do.
Think about what time of day is best for you to sleep, and what time it is best to work. In accordance with this, think over the daily routine, including the work schedule in it. Then you will clearly understand at what period you are busy with work, creative or administrative, and when you have free time to clear your brain without distraction.
You can do monotonous work once a day, once a week, or every day with a break of 1-2 hours. At the same time, you can even change your place of work so as not to engage in creativity and boring obligatory work within the same walls. This is very useful, you will see for yourself.
5. Always seek positive feedback.
Having received positive feedback, a person always works better and more efficiently. Without this feedback, it can be difficult for a designer to move from one project to the next. For a freelancer who does not have a management structure that would push him to action, this can mean correspondence with clients or, for example, posting their projects or a separate part of them on social networks.
You can also print good testimonials about your work and even pin them on the wall near your workplace. This will motivate, and quite powerfully. And make yourself more confident. Either way, make sure the encouragement is genuine – there are times when you are praised for moving forward and fresh ideas. This may sound silly, but the psychological effect can be profound.