How to beat creative block: one designer offers his invaluable advice

3 February 2016

Radim Malinic is a creative director and graphic designer based in South West London, working under the name Brand Nu. He has just published a new book, Book of Ideas, and here he discusses how best to beat creative block.

Every once in a while, everyone in the creative industry will wrestle with creative block. No one is immune to that moment where you feel like giving up and planning for a new career.

So when you have to have an idea right here, right now, how do you win the fight and come up with the right solution?

First, stop panicking – take a step back and get a clear view of what’s going on. You need to free up some space to think, so take a few deep breaths without worrying about the looming deadline. Go for a run or go for lunch, just get out of your studio when you can.

You need to get another perspective. No project was ever solved by putting in extra hours of directionless labour.

To get to where you need to be, use successful projects as reference points and look for the “why” instead of the “how” the project succeeded. Understanding another person’s thought process can help you immensely. Every great project carries a strong idea, regardless of its colour, typeface, finish or render. It could help you understand where to go next.

Whatever you think you are meant to be doing, do the opposite. Put together a mood board of working samples, collect images in a new Pinterest board, pick up a pencil and draw, or write down anything that comes into your mind. The key is in picking up momentum and collecting fragments to help you form a fitting answer to your problem.

Next time, you can start with these problem solving tools right from the start.

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