It happens to the best of us, you sit down to finish up your latest graphic design and your mind goes blank. If you were a writer, this would be known as writers block. As a graphic designer, this is known as creative hell. You have an idea for what the design should look like but you just can’t put the pieces together.

The next time you find yourself living this nightmare, why not try doing one of the following things to spark your creativity.

Break Out the Paintbrushes

If you are stuck with your design, why not reach for the paintbrushes, charcoal or any other artistic medium. If you are staring blankly at your InDesign or Photoshop screen, why not try something a little different.

More often than not this venture into another art form sparks an idea or at the very least, takes your mind off the current frustrations, which will undoubtedly help get the creative juices flowing.

Sometimes you need to think from a different angle, perhaps think of your design to have guidelines like you're preparing to have t-shirts printed. See this article about preparing artwork for screen printing, it may give you some perspective.

What If?

If your mind quits on you while you are half way through a design, try asking yourself, what if.

  • What if the design was upside down?
  • What if the colors were cold instead of hot?
  • What if you switched the positions of these two elements?

Again, this gets your mind racing as you start to stimulate it with other possibilities. This opens you up to creativity and you will have your graphic designed in no time.

Write Your Own Brief

Not all art is drawn. Sometimes, you need to write things out to determine exactly what you need to do. If you were provided with a brief for the work, rewrite in your own words. There is a great article on something called personal branding that outlines how you can brief yourself to brand yourself online. Sometimes practicing on something such as yourself is the fastest way to get started.

Be detailed with your brief and write out the problem you are trying to solve and why you need to solve this problem. The more information you provide, the better your chances of sparking something great inside that head of yours.

Change Your Surroundings

When all else fails and you are completely stuck then it is time to shake up your environment. Take your work outside, go to a local coffee shop or sit on a park bench.

Don’t feel like leaving the house? Then bring the different surroundings to you by putting up artistic posters or moving your furniture around.

Do anything you can to make your surrounding different and inspiring. These tricks almost always work but if you are in a serious rut, then the best thing you can do is go for a nice, long walk. Follow this advice and you will find yourself getting out of the creative funk in no time.