Working as an agency creative professional means turn arounds are quick, deadlines are sharp and new tasks pop up left and right. It sounds stressful, and sometimes is, but one of the most difficult parts about being a creative professional in an agency setting is keeping the creative juices flowing and continuously coming up with unique, fresh ideas for an array of clients. How does one do this? We’ve teamed up with our creative director, Chelsea Meagher, to give you some insight on this topic!
“Having a creative mind is dependent on the relationship between your mind and where your thoughts are coming from. A successful creative professional not only analyzes the idea that comes to mind, but also where it comes from and how it could be useful in a project. Thinking in this pattern can be overwhelming but is exciting and can create a fire inside that urges mental exploration,” says Meagher.
Creative blocks are a common obstacle in the artistic world and can be frustrating when you’re faced with project deadlines and zero inspiration. To help you stay creative and imaginative, here are a few ways Chelsea stays fresh minded as an innovative creator.
Recharge Your Mind
There are a variety of options when it comes to taking a mental break, and Chelsea has provided us with some of her favorites!
- Take a walk around the office, your neighborhood or on a trail. Finding peace away from work can provide you with the mental clarity and refresh you need.
- Self-care is healthcare! Enjoy a spa day or have a pampering day. Taking a bubble bath, a short nap or listening to music are all relaxing ways to take a mental breather.
- Meditation is a helpful way to destress and forget about your worries. Completing a short (or long!) meditation break can help recharge your mind from the constant creative thought process—and may even give you the clarity needed for some fresh inspiration!
- Read something that doesn’t relate to creativity. Sorry, Photoshop for Dummies, but you are not included in this tip. Whether you’re a fan of sci-fi or psychological thrillers, read something that will get your mind off current events.
Now that you’ve taken the time to relax and recharge, you’re ready to come up with your next great idea!
- Watch a new TV show or movie. Television and movie production can breed inspiration due to interesting set designs, captivating soundtracks or engaging cinematography. Being exposed to new themes and storylines in general are a great way to capture that new idea that’s floating around.
- Visit a location you’ve never seen before. Whether it’s a restaurant with a waterfront view or a new museum exhibit, getting out into the world and seeing new things can help your mind generate new concepts or ideas. To go one step further, try taking a vacation. Whether it’s near or far, in a city or in a cabin in the mountains, you’re bound to find inspiration while your mind is at rest.
- Scroll through current designer work. They say great minds think alike, right? So, get out there and see what other designers are doing. What techniques are they using? What conceptual designs are you finding? Chelsea says her favorite platforms to use for this are Dribbble, Awwwards and Dieline.
- Grab those headphones and a kettlebell because a sweaty workout and a rockin’ playlist may be exactly what you need to grasp at that great idea. Chelsea says this is one of her go-to ways to find inspiration—she tends to think of her best ideas during a hard workout with a fantastic playlist.
Another way to keep up with your own insight is to write everything down. Keep a notebook or the notes app close and constantly add ideas and thoughts when a sketchbook (or iPad) isn’t in reach. This bank of concepts is useful during a creative block because you can pull from these unused thoughts at any time.
So, you’ve recharged, gained some insight and written it all down. Now what? It’s time to get back to being that creative professional that kicks ass and keeps the innovation going. Take what you’ve learned during your mental break and create in ways you may have not tried before.
- Try using new tools in your favorite Adobe software—or try a program you’ve always considered but haven’t had the opportunity to try yet. Staying up to date with the creative industry (including new programs and platforms) is one of the best ways to continuously push yourself to stay fresh and original.
- Use new design elements. Take a leap of faith and test out that new font, shape or color palette. We know you have your favorites, and some brands follow a brand guideline, but playing around with different elements can lead to new concepts and design schemes.
- Learn a new skill. Learning is the best way to grow and experimenting is the best way to practice. Whether you’re exploring a new program, taking a course on design elements or taking a creative break to master a new hands-on skill, you’re keeping your brain active. The key to staying ahead of the trends is staying mentally active and consistently taking in new information, ideas and skills.
As long as you’re learning new techniques and giving yourself necessary mental breaks, you are bound to tackle any and all the projects on your to-do list. The ultimate tip to staying in touch with your creativity is to remember to take time for you. Making space to refresh before a creative block sets in allows you to continue meeting your deadlines and stay your best inspired self.