Design Inspiration: Creative block

Whenever I get stuck during the design process, I always do one of the following in order to unwind and recharge.  Sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it, and that includes taking a break from your work despite having a deadline to meet.  Trust me, it works!

Mental/physical exercise

I'm sure most of us would have experienced days when everything just gets a bit too much.  There are days when my brain feels clogged, this is when mental/physical exercise can help declog the brain and the body.

I like starting my day with meditation to clear my head - it really sets the right tone for the rest of the day so I can handle the challenges ahead with ease.  If you are not a big fan of meditation, you can try engaging in an activity to take your mind off things.  The latest hype right now is the meditative colouring books for adults but any art and craft activities can be equally effective.

Another way of settling a busy mind is to go on a long hike and be embraced by nature.  Alternatively, an hour of intensive indoor cycling can burn off that stagnant energy and get the adrenaline pumping. 

Gallery hopping 

This is the most obvious solution – design research is as important as the design process itself.  It's good practice to stay current in your creative field by making regular trips to art galleries and museums.  The detailed research of precedent can get the creative juices flowing, taking your design work to a whole new level.

Discuss and express

This is one of the most important steps for unlocking a designer’s block.  Back in the day when I was studying architecture at university, we were always encouraged to work in the design studio so that we could bounce ideas off one another. The trick is to stay open-minded towards constructive criticism- it’s a brilliant way to test your ideas and find ways of improving them.  By explaining your design concept to others, it forces you to solidify your goals whilst fine-tuning the end product/result.


Nothing beats what you can learn from your travels. Whether it’s the site-seeing or random encounters with people you meet, travelling can greatly broaden your horizons.

Sketching and mock-ups

I like to have my mini Moleskine sketch book with me at all times.  You never know when a good idea may pop up in your head and it’s always useful to have something to doodle in.  Another great way of exploring your design options is to make plentiful of mock-ups to bring your design to life.  This part of the design process is crucial to most designers as they evaluate their creations in full size prior to finalising their creation.

Hope one of the suggestions above would help you unblock your creative mind so that you can express yourself freely in your work.  Till next time.....




Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published