Photo Credit: Martina Photography

As a designer, I often find myself in situations where I need to be creative. In my profession and many other creative fields for that matter, creativity can be quite an enigma. Though some of us are more creatively inclined than others, it can't just be turned on and off like a light switch. Sometimes we get blocks. Other times, we're in the zone. Then you have those rare, beautiful moments when the perfect idea manifests somewhere out of the blue.

For the times we're feeling uninspired, it can be daunting to produce work that meets the high standards we set for ourselves. The pressure of deadlines, pleasing clients and plain old stress sometimes conflicts with creativity.

Here Are a Few Things that Help Me Get Creative...

COFFEE


Not everyone likes coffee, but I'm definitely a fan. Sometimes that extra pick-me-up really helps fuel the fire. There's nothing quite like that first sip in the morning to really start the day. The taste, the aroma... that feeling of waking up – I feel at peace. It puts me in a good mindset and physically pumps me up. Really, just having a morning routine is a great way to prepare the mind to work its magic. Having a good start often sets the pace for the rest of the day. That's why I always start it with coffee.

 

BEING ALONE


Don't get me wrong – I love being around people. Weirdly enough, though, some of my best work happens when I'm alone. It's when I can fully submerge myself in a project with no one judging me or looking over my shoulder. I can be as silly, serious or as weird as I want to be. Sometimes this involves talking to myself. Or talking to the program I'm working in. Other times it involves shouting “YES!” while simultaneously fist-pumping after successfully making something look the way I want it to – or screaming in dissatisfaction when Photoshop crashes. Don't act like you don't do it, too.

LOOKING AT INSPIRATIONAL THINGS


Even when I'm not designing, I'm constantly observing and admiring art and design everywhere. In museums, on billboards, in magazines, on TV Рeven at the grocery store! Searching for inspiration is a crucial part of the creative process. This might seem clich̩ for a girl like me to say but one of my favorite places to search for inspiration is Pinterest. Of course, it's not the only resource I use, but it's a fun and engaging one. There's tons of interesting imagery, articles and websites to be found (not to mention recipes!) that can easily be saved and shared.

We often look for examples of how other people approach and execute their creative communications and take note. Sometimes we borrow techniques, other times we might just say “man, I wish I made that” but seeing the awesome work of others really motivates us to make something great, ourselves – don'tcha think?

What are some ways you fuel your creativity?