Creativity is its own form of magic. Call it the creative spark. An epiphany. A burst of inspiration. Whatever the name, designers don’t know where it originates from—but they know it when they see it.
It’s when an idea pops into your head fully formed.
It’s the perfect balance between form and function in your latest design.
It’s having all the pieces fit together just right the first time around.
The creative spark takes your designs to a whole new level. Losing it means long hours of frustration—and desperate attempts to recapture it.
While your designs might be just a little bit magical, jumpstarting inspiration and creativity is anything but. Renowned author Jack London put it best:
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
When you’re stuck in a creative rut or need to bottle a little inspiration, there’s no magic wand or potion to make it appear. So grab your club and try out one of these tactics to jumpstart your design creativity today.
1. Change It Up
Where are you most comfortable designing? Great, now leave. Stepping outside of your comfort zone sparks new ideas, offers a new perspective on existing designs and forces you to think outside the box (or cubicle).
Go outside. Work from home. Go to an office (if you work from home). Make a coffee shop your work headquarters today. If you’re chained to a desk, try shaking up your work environment. Sit in a different corner of the office, rearrange your workspace or stand at your workstation.
Don’t limit yourself to location. Experiment with software or design techniques with which you’re unfamiliar. Look for design inspiration in a field unrelated to your own.
Often, new perspectives and challenges lend fresh creativity to an existing project.
2. Take An Inspiration Vacation
You don’t have to leave town or even take a day off. Simply grab your favorite movies, games, books, paintings—anything that inspires you—and spend some time reacquainting yourself with your favorite creative works.
If you’re looking for fresh material, try out these resources:
- How to Overcome Creative Block — Creative Bloq provides a wealth of ways to escape a creative rut, from using your time differently to establishing habits that jumpstart creativity.
- 10 of the Greatest Web Sources for Creative Inspiration — From a blog with tutorials for creative professionals to a catalog of inspiring digital art, the website Creative Something has you covered if your inspiration vacations are limited only to cyberspace.
- Top Artists Reveal How to Find Creative Inspiration — Learn from the best: the Guardian newspaper interviewed notable creatives—including architect Sunand Prasad—to find out what gives them their creative edge.
3. Work With Your Non-Dominant Hand
Some scientists believe that working with your non-dominant hand better engages both your left (analytical) and right (creative) brains—stimulating creativity.
At the very least, writing, drawing or designing with your non-dominant hand forces you to take a leaf out of Apple’s book and think different.
Some 3D mouse users already experience this. You use a 3D mouse with your non-dominant hand to smoothly and intuitively navigate 3D content—while your dominant hand clicks with a standard mouse. The result is a deeper connection with your model and a clearer expression of your design intent.
As 3Dconnexion fan Martin St. Martin says:
“As a design engineer in the aerospace industry, I find 3D devices allow me to work at a pace ideally suited to my mental processing, allowing momentum to be maintained. Ultimately, the 3D device creates fluidity in the design process, which is naturally reflected in one’s work.”
How do you get out of a creative rut? Do you use any of the above strategies? Let us know in the comments!
Improve Your Creativity Starting Today
Creativity isn’t a gift. It’s a skill. And you can improve it—beginning today. The Creativity Handbook for 3D Professionals is a manual packed with habits, tools and hacks that will make you more creative, more often.
This handbook has 25+ pages of information that will help you boost your design creativity and improve your career. Get started today.
Image Source: James Mallos via Flickr