Public Question: Dealing with Creative Block

This post is part of our new series of articles in which we will be answering questions related to design, inspiration and creative process sent by our readers via email. If you have any questions, let us know. Send them via email to with Public Questions as subject.


What is your top recommendation for avoiding uninspiration in graphic design as a job?

Amanda Macedo

Avoid having days too rigidly planned. I hate routine and try to steer from it as much as I can. Of course that's not always a realistic goal, but I think it's important to dedicate some time whenever possible to doing nothing and letting your mind wander. You'll come to find that often times that's when creativity flows best and you'll be most inspired. I get hit with the best ideas when I'm in the shower. Try it.

Be active in the design community. Sharing links and discussing ideas is vital to being constantly inspired. Load up your Twitter feed with designers and bloggers and engage them in conversation. If not that, then simply listen to what they have to say and the interesting things they share. You're connected to so many people on the Internet; take advantage of it.

Subscribe to RSS feeds. This is probably your best bet to avoid being uninspired. I often start off my day with a cup of coffee, a poptart, and a solid hour going through my Google reader. These mornings make all the difference because they get my creative juices flowing. Also: use Feedly (thanks, boyfriend).

Surround yourself with passionate creative people. My social circle once consisted of people with a wide range of interests and hobbies. While this in part is great because it opens you to different things and new ideas, it can also at times be a little discouraging because you have no one to fuel your passion or talk design over coffee with. Get out and meet new people! (Keep your old friends too. Nobody likes a fickle friend…)

Fabiano Meneghetti

I believe it's really important to have good design briefing about what will have to be done, either for a client's project or personal. If we can get as much details as possible about the project and expectations it will be easier to achieve the goals and the best result.

Besides that a good search for references for inspiration, sketches on paper, which is faster and easier to make some ideas come true, and experimentation will definitely help you to overcome the lack of inspiration.

Another thing I believe is really important is a good workspace, with nice music playing and that you feel comfortable, that definitely makes a lot of difference because makes you want to stay in there working and will help you get inspired :)

Fabio Sasso

I talked a little bit about that in my last post in wich I share my thoughs on creativity and design process. In my opinion the most important thing before starting anything is talk with the client, ask as many questions as possible about the project and the target audience. That will give you the clues to search for inspiration. The same goes for personal projects, ask yourself what you want to do and have a clear idea in your mind, then stick to it otherwise you will be having cool ideas all the time and none of them will turn into real results, you will get frustrated and that's not good.

I also believe that we need to have a good set of skills and visual references so we can automatically start brainstorming ideas. That comes from art and design books, magazines, movies and the web. Inspiration is everywhere, as cheesy as it might sound it is totally true, the secret is how to find the right now.

Image inspired by the movie Clash of the Titans
Image inspired by the movie Clash of the Titans

Another thing I do when after a few hours working on a project and not getting satisfied with the results is stop everything and go to the GYM or to run a few miles. That really helps me to freshen up my mind and ideas. Most of the times I will get some answers or new ideas.

Paulo Gabriel

I think one must avoid all preconceived notions on the subject you're designing for. You must be set free of these strings, so that your design is not tendentious. Along with that, it's important to learn the subject and see it as an insider.

Your answer

We really want to hear from you as well and we believe that sharing opinions and knowledge is the best way to evolve not only as individuals but the whole industry, so please, leave a comment with your answer for the question above.

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