How to Find Creative Inspiration and Start Designing Again

Do you feel like you're in a creative rut? Are you struggling to come up with new ideas? If so, don't worry – you're not alone! All creative professionals from graphic designers to illustrators, find themselves in this situation at some point. The good news is that there are ways to overcome creative blocks and start designing again. This blog post will share some tips for finding inspiration and how to get your creative juices flowing!

I felt uncreative for the last TWO years; with the pandemic hanging around and the added challenge of becoming a first-time mom, my life was hectic. Thankfully after a year of maternity leave, I am slowly getting the hang of mom life. I've gradually started to feel the creative spark again and find sudden bursts of inspiration to create!

Here are some tips that have helped me find creative inspiration and start designing again:

1.Take a Break

When we feel exhausted, our body needs to rest. If you feel like this, try taking a break and doing something else. You can read, write, walk, sleep, watch your favourite show or simply do nothing and allow your mind to rest. Good ideas will come when you least expect them!

2. Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Healthy lifestyle habits like exercising, decluttering and eating well can improve your creativity. Our body needs good nutrition and sleep. I know it can be hard to get a good night's sleep (especially if you are a parent), however, when I exercise, organise my house, eat healthily and go to bed early, I naturally sleep better and wake up feeling inspired, positive and productive.

3.Reflect on Your Creative Work

Check out some of your old creative work. You'll be surprised at your progress and may even feel inspired by your old designs and perhaps be able to repurpose them. When I first started my creative journey in 2012, I used to love designing party invitations using 99designs but over the years I stopped creating them. However, a few months ago, while on maternity leave, I decided to get back to my passion project and repurpose some of my old designs and create new digital invitation!

4.Copy and Paste (and Tweak)

A great piece of advice shared by author Austin Kleon in his Steal Like an Artist book is to take inspiration from your favourite artists and recreate pieces or make them even better by tweaking and adding your own unique style. This practice will naturally enhance creativity.

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5.Stop Scrolling 

Stop following artists (on platforms like Instagram and YouTube) that give you imposter syndrome. They don't inspire you but actually waste your time, and may even lead you to end up copying them. Instead, follow your target audience accounts; for example, If you are a graphic designer who loves coffee, follow coffee shop accounts as they will most likely inspire you and may well need help with graphic design services

6.Practice for Fun

Try to focus purely on drawing or creating compositions for fun rather than the final result or for the sake of social media. I also stopped posting my design progress in real time on social media as it can sometimes be distracting and waste time. 

Tips for Illustrators

If you, like me, have had a long career break and find it hard to draw again, just take baby steps. Give yourself 20 minutes a week to draw or doodle for fun. Use children's drawing books which are simple and easy to follow, and make learning the basics enjoyable.  Over time you will improve and be inspired.

Links to books 1, 2, 3

Tips for  Graphic Designers 

Try sketching out different composition thumbnails from an existing magazine layout. You will be surprised, but these practices get the creative juices flowing and inspire creativity.

Check out some tutorials to help you improve your design compositions! 

I hope you found some of these tips helpful. If these don't work, you may need to switch things up completely. Either try changing your job, get better at managing your time, start a side hustle where you create art for fun, or learn new creative skills to give your career a boost!

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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator who has worked for Toni&Guy, Renaissance Learning, Baker Ross, and many others.

Additionally, she owned a brick-and-mortar stationery shop selling her art prints and now sells wholesale to retailers and online shops under the brand name

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