The Wonderful Side of Creative Block

creative-block

Just days after David Airey posted this, I fell into creative block, BIG TIME (days!). It was frustrating, to say the least.

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I have an ongoing logo project that seems to be taking forever because I can’t come up with something I can be proud of.

I just started my Daily Design posts and although I do design work everyday, my personal designs were uninspired and not the sort of things I’d post, hence my “silence” last week. So I might just change that into a weekly or monthly design post with just logos. We’ll see.

But it wasn’t just “design” block. I couldn’t write either. Nor could I play that melody in my head at the piano without hitting the wrong keys. I felt stuck at every turn.

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The good thing about design is, it has “rules”—proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast (CRAP, as I still remember very well from Robin Williams’ The Non-Designer’s Design Book) and variations thereof. Thanks to these principles (plus some experience) I was able to get through designing my regular client work of magazines and ads, which I personally find actually much easier to do than logos, websites or photo-manipulations.

The crappy thing is, these rules don’t help us come up with new and creative ideas in the first place. Finding inspiration is all up to us.

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But the wonderful side of creative block is you get to do and discover other things you might have been missing. I got creative with the block, so to speak.

I drew things, which is always good no matter what state you’re in, creative or not. I started reading fantasy books again. I played Beethoven’s Pathetique (though poorly) again, something I studied more than 10 years ago. I ran farther. I found a few bloggers and writers worthy of a follow on my reader. I found great work by other designers. I’m starting to love typography more than I used to. I covered some design material, something I don’t always have time for. I got to think and plan my blogging and design work. I spent more time with my kids…. Overall, my time was not wasted and maybe all I really needed was a break from “creating.”

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I’m out of it now and to celebrate, I even came up with this logo for fun.

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I’d like to hear from you, what new things have you discovered (or rediscovered) while on a block?

 

  • August 15th, 2011 /
  • 2 Comments

2 Comments to “The Wonderful Side of Creative Block”

  1. Muneeb Ahmad says:

    Wow, that’s a top-notch logo you created Grace! 😉

    Last time I had a creative block was a short whole ago when I was asked to create a logo for a professional school and uniforms company. I had an image of a tie and that was it. I thought to myself how can I make this tie vector work in a smart logo? Eventually I came up with this little gem, after thinking of things that looked ‘fancy’ and then finding a thin and ‘smart-looking’ font and the end result was this:

    http://www.ahmaddesign.co.uk/img/topclasslogo.png

    Another time I wanted to make a concept logo just for fun and struggled a lot but eventually came up with this:

    http://www.ahmaddesign.co.uk/data/images/kablam.jpg

    I don’t really have secrets to overcoming any blocks apart from relaxing, persisting and looking at inspiration sites or just general free goodies that I think can be used in a logo.

  2. Grace Oris says:

    Thanks Muneeb. That’s some work yourself.

    I think simply relaxing works best after all!

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