We’ve all been there. Working on something for what seems like hours and getting nowhere. At TJA, we call it the Creative Canyon. It can also be referred to as the Black Hole of Despair. Needless to say, it sucks. No really, it temporarily sucks you out of reality and into its otherworldly dimension. In the agency world, getting caught in the Creative Canyon is not something to be desired, like say, a trip to the Grand Canyon would be. The good news? There are trails out of the abyss and back into the Land of Productivity.
1) Just step away – As counterintuitive as it may seem, stepping away from that project and doing something completely unrelated can actually boost creativity. As soon as your mind is allowed to start thinking about something else, new and fresh ideas can emerge. Get up. Go for a walk. Make some coffee. Call your mom. Just get away from your desk.
2) Don’t say no – So you’ve taken your break. You have a brand new outlook on life. Now what? You may want to jot down those fresh ideas that have just hatched in your brain. Here’s the catch. You have to write down every one. Yes, even that one that’s completely inappropriate, not in the scope of work and has nothing to do with the client. Good ideas can come from anywhere, so don’t limit yourself. You never know, that completely ridiculous idea could be your ticket out of Creative Canyonland.
3) Get help – Don’t try and climb every mountain or rappel down every canyon alone. If you feel yourself getting lost or feel yourself running out of rope, you better start hootin’ n’ hollerin’ for help! Getting another designer’s opinion can mean the difference between getting the project out to the client on time or not. Something that one of your coworkers says could spark an idea that you couldn’t have thought up on your own. Two (or three) heads are alway better than one.
4) Have some fun – A lot of times we make life more serious than it needs to be. Genuine creativity thrives when the mind is at ease and happy. Having fun at work and taking advantage of those little moments to be crazy can have a huge impact on creativity. Still stuck in the canyon? Take a lap on Shane’s scooter.
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.
– Hanna Melara, Graphic Designer