creative block tools

10 Creative Hacks for Artists & Designers

Ever been stuck on a Web Design project or creative project cant seem to get out of that creative rut to come up with new ideas? Or what if we are frozen with a courser from our text editor blinking at us silently, like a caution signal warning us of an impending waste of time? Or alternatively, sitting at your canvas with the muse that was lost in our last brush stroke? What then.

With 10 Creative Hacks for Artists & Designers you can use these ideas to help you boost your creativity from taking breaks to pushing through the barricade of creators block. Not all methods will work all the time and you may need to find just one or two things that are best and will get you back on track in no time.

In this roundup, you can easily try some tried and true techniques no matter what creative field you’re in or you can, like most are so tempted to do, scroll down to the comments after skimming and join in on the conversation. My hope is that you’ll find that one thing that helps to get you back into the groove and back to what you love doing most, creating our way to happiness.

1) Don’t Share Your Big Goals

Although this may seem counter intuitive in today’s culture of sharing, blogging, and commenting. Keeping your goals to yourself has a big payoff. When you share your goal with someone else, your brain goes into “achievement status” and considers the goal already reached even if you have not even started yet. This will delay the inertia and can prevent you from doing what you said you would do in the first place.

By keeping your major goals to yourself, you can incubate ideas and get them all out in an experience that will, be more rewarding than the finished project. In addition, you will not be stressed either the undue pressure of others expectations of you completing your goal or meeting a dead line and finishing it just because you were in a hurry. Achieving goals should be a systematic process, so do not be caught into the trap of informing people that aren’t apart of the details.

2) Give a New Skill Time

Remember when you were a beginner started a new skill and you were awful at it? I certainly do. I could not remember all the types of graphic design elements, my creative problem solving was awful, and I could not design a logo to save my life. Now I am much more proficient and deliver solutions that are much more streamlined and in alignment with client’s business goals. So, with time put in we were will become able to overcome those challenges. One trick is to give yourself eight to twelve weeks to the devotion of any new goal. Don’t be too much of a critic on yourself when first learning something it’s going to be rough and just have the patience that you will eventually get better at it.

3) Roll Up Those Sleeves

Chuck Close, an American painter and photographer, once said “Inspiration is for amateurs” and it’s true. You need to get out there and work. Ideas rarely just drop in on you when you want them to, they need to be developed even when you don’t feel like working on them or you have ‘creative block’. Even the most talented musicians, singers, performers, and dancers will work on their bad days to get the practice in. But you need to remember that you’re only as good as your current project, because it’s the only one you currently still have influence over so don’t get lazy in the practice or it will come back to bite you.

4) Put the Book Down

Yep you heard it right; stop reading the book you’re consumed with. Some of my readers who know me personally may be saying “But wait? You read all the time why are you of all people telling me to stop reading?” because if you’re just reading and not practicing then you’re not getting the maximum experience from all that you’re absorbing. It’s easy easily skim the information without actually absorbing the contents of what’s inside – having it rollover you like water. Too much input not enough output. Executing and experimenting on what you’ve just learned will cause you to understand what concepts you’ve just learned on a deeper level, reveal insights based on first hand experiences, and incorporate these new ideas into what you already know.

“Executing and experimenting on what you’ve just learned will cause you to understand what concepts you’ve just learned on a deeper level.”

5) Take a Nap

Napping actually has a scientific reason and effect as to why it is effective in helping you learn something new. While you’re asleep the brain will form new connections, called synapsis, that you made while you were working but that it wasn’t able to connect without specific focus. When this happens it can cause you to literally wake up with a solution to a design problem you’ve been working on.  You can even try spending 90 minutes napping before you learn can increase your memory by as much as 10%.

6) Get a Journal

I have been journaling for a few years now and it is definitely one of the more rewarding experiences of sketching out thoughts and ideas for new products. It’s like reflecting and exploring the deepest parts of your own understanding in the world at large. The type of journal you use is up to you, but what matters most is that you take the time to do some sketching or write things down and notate your ideas in a word document. The medium you choose to document your ideas in does not matter, what matters is that the idea is made clear in front of you and easier to understand.

7) Ignore the Clock

When you’re in a deep state of Flow and immersed in creativity the time doesn’t matter, what you’re ultimately going for is a qualitative focus for sustained moments. These are what’s going to matter and add up into fulfillment over time.

8) Appreciate the Hard Times

Eyes focused, fingers cramping, head racing the struggle you feel when you know you’re onto something and at the edge of your seat trying to squeeze every last ounce of energy to stretch yourself. When things get hard we sometime have the tendency is to want to quit all together, but by pushing and being persistent, we can have a breakthrough that can lead us into new heights.


9) Inch By Inch It Becomes a Synch

Instead of trying to sprint to the finish line of your project, try doing a marathon over a sustained period. By breaking your project down from tasks into chunks, they become much more manageable and able to handle it over the long haul. This will give you the freedom to go at a reasonable pace while having the certainty that you will get the job done.

10) Take It Slow

Take it slow, like …really …really …slow. Practicing is all about learning and discovery remember. Put on some good music, fire up that latte or tea, get comfortable and focus on what you are doing without any distractions. That way one hundred percent of your attention will be put on the task and when it is time to recall what you have learned then it will be that much easier to put it all to the test.

Well there you have it 10 things you can do to improve your creative ability. Is there anything you felt like that should have been on the list? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to increase your creative ability no matter what creative field you are in so give each, or all, of them a try and use what works best.

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