Though struggles to stay inspired are par for the course for all creatives, the age of working from home has created a new scenario: the challenge of staying inspired in the face of a lack of human proximity.
As designers, we often find inspiration in bouncing ideas off each other, whether it is in a brainstorming setting or a casual conversation, and though brainstorming sessions and frequent chats are still part of our daily existence, many of us have found it necessary to get creative in how we keep the creative flow going.
It can be easy to lose sight of inspiration when looking at a screen all day. Sometimes, the way to remedy a creative block is to go back to original roots: pen and paper. Making a physical mark speaks to our earliest creative moments, and might just be the right perspective to unlock something new. Next time you’re stuck for ideas, grab some scrap paper and start writing, drawing, sketching, or mapping whatever comes to mind. You might just bypass the inhibitions for constant perfection and achieve the coveted state of flow.
It’s no secret that the best ideas often come to us organically (sometimes even in the shower), but in reality we sometimes find ourselves pushing every angle of an idea to come up with something new - to no avail. We run the risk of trying to force it, but this rarely works out. A good way to break through is to simply let it go for a while and switch focus to something else - a different mindset can grow the seed for new thoughts. Crossing other tasks off your list might also alleviate some of the pressure, giving you more freedom to explore.
Zoning out can be a great way to find a flow focus. For us, sometimes this can be podcasts, whether about conspiracy theories, true crime, sports, or movies. Other times, we like to get lost in music. Whatever your pick, changing up your audio landscape can provide you with inspiration from the most unlikely of places, diversifying your ideas. for us at Redorange, this is crucial for vibing out or getting into the zone, in fact, we create monthly playlists to share what's keeping us going.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut when you stay within your comfort zone - doing things the same way over and over again. Although idea trumps technique, when inspiration runs short, everything starts to look the same if we keep relying on the same old techniques. Sometimes, what we need is to change the toolset completely, and start exploring something new, whether it's software, a technique, or a workflow process. So, if you've always wanted to dabble into animation or you've been waiting for the opportunity to try UI design, this is your sign!
Working from home every day can become monotonous. Gone are the daily commutes, the lunch breaks outside, and the after work hangouts. In the home office era, the days are repetitive, especially when we don't experience different locations and scenes. This can put a different kind of mental block, that could affect our ability to be creative. Whether it's exploring your neighbourhood, the countryside, or the beach, it can be great to give your eyes something else to look at.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". One of the pitfalls of any creative work is that it permeates our thoughts 24/7, and while this can be a great mindset for finding inspiration anywhere, every once in a while, we do need to allow our brains to focus on something else. Taking up a new hobby or learning a skill is a great challenge for the mind - it is essential to always keep learning and keep those sparks going!
Remember to take a mental step back from the day-to-day of working from home and find other ways to get your creative motors flowing. Bake, dance to your favourite tune, go for a drive or simplye dive into a new hobby - whatever helps you get back into the zone, just go for it.