Dread. It is a normal emotion that everyone experiences, designer or not. From a mental perspective, dread is characterized as one of the essential faculties or feelings that one can feel. The specific of dread I experience is the uncertainty that comes with each passing day. The uncertainty of not knowing what to do when you don’t get an idea right away is what I fear most. In the event that you looking for a creative idea and it’s not coming as fast as you want it, here’s some things you can do to help yourself.

Avoid the computer.

You won’t do yourself any credit in the long run if your inspiration is mainly derived from what’s trending on social media or those design websites and blogs. Just because it’s trending does not mean you’re obliged to emulate it.

Watch some television.

Yes I know, you’re technically still staring at a screen but this is completely different. There’s plenty of movies, documentaries and television series that can motivate you to design something that you would be proud of.

Read a book.

It could be Harry Potter, non-fiction or a self-help book. It does not matter what it is so long as you’re not staring at someone’s Behance or Dribbble portfolio. I personally like to look at books showcasing iconography from pre-Columbian cultures as it is the main source of my inspiration.

Carry a sketchbook.

You’d be surprised what happens to your creativity when you have something to record it with. My doodles aren’t anything to brag about but I’ve come up with entire projects with initial observations that I recorded. For example, one of my “for fun” projects came about when I purchased Indian Designs From Ancient Ecuador by Frederick W. Shaffer. It was an illustrated guide to the iconography of the different tribes that had once and still inhabit my homeland.

Take a shower.

Sometimes your best ideas take place in the shower when your body goes on autopilot and your brain wanders. You often wind up in an interesting place.

Go outside.

There’s value in going outside, whether it’s a walk or run or bike ride. Do not worry about trying to finish that design project for a while and stretch your legs. From my own personal experience, my best ideas came from a good one hour or two hour walk around the city. Don’t believe me?

There’s a 2014 study co-authored by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz from Stanford University that demonstrates scientific proof that walking helps boost creative inspiration. In fact, a person’s creative output increased by up to 60 percent when walking.

So what are you waiting? Instead of sitting around, staring at your computer screen, waiting for inspiration to sweep in, go outside and see if that increased blood flow and exposure to natural stimuli can get the creative juices flowing.

Avoid perfection.

Perfect is the enemy of good. Any good designer may want to introduce perfection to their craft and present a unique, simple and good idea that has never been used. You never get it right the first time and that’s okay. Mistakes and failures along the way is how we become stronger, fully actualized designers and individuals.

Own Your Ideas.

You got the degree or you have such an awesome portfolio where a degree isn’t needed. You have years of experience interning and freelancing that you should feel confident to harness and utilize your personal abilities to deliver an experience that you will be proud of.

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