Dan Olivier-Argyle is an entirely self-taught illustrator and artist and is the creative talent behind Dan Illustrates.
There comes a day where any designer, writer or artist hits a creative block. Sometimes these are overcome quickly but there are times when you’ll be stuck for what feels like forever and you have no idea what to do. In his latest addition to our blog, Illustrator Dan gives us a run through of what he does to beat the block and get creative again.
- Mow the lawn / wash the dishes
Non-demanding tasks encourage divergent thinking. Taking a walk, having a shower, washing the dishes, they all allow the mind to wander – more so than doing nothing. Mindless tasks temporarily reduce activity in the frontal lobes, allowing subconscious thoughts to filter through into our consciousness.
- Break the norm
Disrupting routine forces your thought patterns to become more flexible. Neural pathways become less rigid, and new connections can be formed. Take a different route to work, disrupt the order of your morning routine and approach your craft in a different way.
- Try a change of perspective
Move rooms, set up shop in the shed, work at a friend’s house, or take a walk to the coffee shop. Doing things differently encourages the creation of new and original ideas.
- Allow yourself to fail
Willingness to take risks is essential in the creative process. New and original ideas can only come about if one allows oneself to fail. The great thing is, if an avenue of thought doesn’t lead anywhere in particular, it has still been covered, and might trigger new lines of thought. Failure is necessary. Embrace the little failures, because they are stepping stones towards greater success.
- Stop, collaborate
While it might not provide all the answers, collaboration provides a different perspective, fights stagnation, and can help generate new ideas. Spending time with like-minded creative people is encouraging and confidence boosting. While solitude is good for contemplation, company can expose new ways of thinking that might otherwise have been overlooked.
- Question and observe
Curiosity and exploration can lead to wonderful creative insights. Taking the time to understand the world around us helps to inform us in the creative process. Fragments of information can be linked to create new and original connections. This process is at the heart of creativity.
- Limit yourself
Yep. Contrary to what you might assume, limitations can really encourage creativity. Artists wishing to produce a body of work will often choose a very simple subject to focus on. Imposing limitations can lead to limitless creative ideas. Challenging yourself can be a great motivational tool – restrict yourself and see how many original ideas you can come up with.
- Walk away
Good ideas take time to incubate. Walk away from the task in the knowledge that you’ll be coming back to it later. You’ve planted the seed, now give it time to grow.
Tattoo these on your pupils, print them out, and come back to them when you need refreshing. Good luck, and let the good ideas flow!
How do you spark your creativity again, let us know in the comments below.