“The block will fade and inspiration will be back on your side. And when it is – kick ass.”

As a designer I get to do what I love best and be creative for a living. But when you do something with a passion regularly over a long period of time, there will come a point when you hit that ‘block’ and run out of inspiration. It’s inevitable and happens to the best of us.

You feel an over-analytical sense of frustration and helplessness knowing everything you do is not up to your usual standard no matter how hard you try. No wow factor, no magic, no nothing. The more you try the more you fail.

I’ve been there a few times, as I’m sure many of you may have too. All you need is that one little spark of inspiration to re-ignite that imagination (or Imagengine as I call it). The trouble is that spark has to be the right one. Question is: how do you go about finding it?


1. Kit-Kat
That means to have a break from what you’re doing. However long you need – but enough for you to come back with a fresh mindset. A clear head and mindset may change your approach. Make the most of a break;

Take a walk: the fresh air always helps to clear the head. Get chatting to someone outside of your normal circle. Do something out of the ordinary routine.

Read a book: we all say we should do it more but seriously, it is a break from the norm. No colours, shapes, screens or pixels; just words. Escaping into a book (not a magazine) may be just the thing.

Take a shower: this may sound funny but there’s something quite therapeutic about water bursting directly onto your head. Relaxes the body and mind. If that doesn’t  work then you can help by singing a few notes from your favourite song. Hopefully once the smoke clears you’ll be refreshed and clear headed.

Go to the toilet: again, this may sound odd but I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had a light bulb idea while on the bog.

Sleep: that’s right, get some rest. Quite often the block comes from overworking so getting some rest will let the brain and body recoup.


2. Ride the waves
Surf the internet and spend a little time just checking other peoples work. This is a great source of inspiration, and method to research. Click on a few links, and then click on a few more links. Ride the wave and see where it takes you. Curiosity will lead you to different places – where you find different things. What I tend to do is save any images I find inspiring into a folder. That way when I’m kinda feeling uninspired they’re there to help get the cogs.


3. Have fun
Do something random or different. Go wild. When you’re churning out results every time you forget to have fun along the way. Experiment more with different styles and colours and you may just surprise yourself with the results.


4.  Don’t think – feel
Putting a lot of thought into something is good most of the time. Over thinking however will just cause you to fry your own circuits. Bruce lee just sums it up best. Don’t think, feel. Do what feels right. Do what you feel like doing.


5. Start again.
Now I remember a few times where I’ve lost a piece of work. In fact it happened to me recently where my USB mysteriously just stopped working. It meant I lost some pretty cool work but I didn’t sweat  – I just ‘started again’. You’ll never get it right the first or second time. Re-doing something or starting from scratch let’s you have a second chance to execute what needs to be done more accurately.


6. Don’t give up.
No matter how hard or frustrating the block feels, don’t give up. Remember it’s temporary and will pass in time. Just ride it out, don’t sweat it, take your time and try again.


7. Long term inspiration
Your brain needs feeding too, so look to explore and do different things to feed from inspiration. I definitely recommend traveling for example. There’s a whole different world of art, culture and lifestyle out there to discover. Getting out there and seeing how different people do things in person will wholeheartedly open up your minds eye for more inspiration.

I’m pretty sure if you’re stuck, and in need of that all-spark to re-ignite your passion and inspiration then one of these will be sure to do so. The way this article has been written is so that it can be applied regardless of what you do; Writers, Photographers, Runners etc. not just Design.

The block will fade and  inspiration will be back on your side. And when it is – kick ass.