2 Mar 2012
When it comes down to creating and designing, I think it's safe to say that every designer has their good and bad days. Some days ideas come naturally, and other days we have moments where we are really stuck. When facing an inspiration block, I learned that forcing myself doesn't really help. You can try it for a while, but once you feel you are wasting time, keeping on pushing yourself will be of no use.
For me, the best thing to do in such moments is to take a break. It doesn't have to be a long break; 10 minutes is already more than enough. The important thing is that I think about something totally different than what I'm working on so that I avoid thinking about design for a while. I like leaving the office; I usually go outside, or open a book, sometimes while listening to music, or I even take a shower… Anything that makes me feel relaxed and clears my mind.
Another thing I sometimes try —depending on my ongoing projects— is to work on some HTML/CSS stuff. It feels as if I'm switching to another mode. After that small break, I try to find some inspiration by browsing through my Inspiration Gallery, or the stuff I gathered on Gimme Bar, or in my LittleSnapper library. Just things I find beautiful.
I don't always look at things that are directly related to what I'm working on. Inspiration can be found in many different things and in a lot of case it's also related to my state of mind at a given moment. Taking a break is of course not a guarantee you'll have the spark afterwards, but I came to see it as my best chance.