Tips and Tricks

< back to list of questions

Q3: Do you ever get a creative block? How do you combat it?

‘Often! I’m of the “take a break” school – I usually work on something else for a bit and try again. That usually helps. It’s also good to take time out to do stuff that’s going to recharge your mental batteries, whether it’s going on a run or going to a museum.’ Ellen Lindner, Mentor.

‘Everyone gets creative block. What I do is I don’t try to push it, I will do something else or work on a different project, and wait for it to pass. And it almost always does. If it doesn’t it usually means its an idea I am not really invested in.’ Isabel Greenberg, Intern.

‘Yep – I’m sure everyone does. I’m trying to combat this by just drawing for drawings sake – I initiated a drawing club at work where we do ‘blind’ drawing (not looking at the paper), drawing other peoples ideas and we’re thinking of going to life drawing classes together. I found this helps just to approach the paper in a different way, to make a mark you wouldn’t necessarily have made by doing things the “usual” way. Of course, visiting galleries, museums, exploring the city, listening to music and watching films are usually good kick starters to get your brain spilling over with ideas.’ Freya Harrisson, Intern.

‘With a long stick. Sometimes its important to break from work for a while, other times its better to simply plough through.’ Abraham Christie, Intern.

‘Yes, all the time – you just have to plough through it, and you will, eventually!’ William Goldsmith, Intern.

‘I stick a film or programme on, or read a book. Sometimes seeing a well-executed idea (i.e. a well written screenplay or clever twist in a story) can be more inspiring than just the idea itself, and can help you to come up with new ways to execute your next idea, when you get it. That said, outright plagiarism is for morons!’ Jade Sarson, Intern.

‘Change tack – sometimes you can actually can make the process easier by handicapping yourself so you don’t rely on your usual habits. I’ll explain – say my problem is I’m rubbing out too much, I’ll take away the pencil and eraser and just use a pen, forcing myself to work differently. Or, say you’re taking too long – limit the time you give yourself to complete a drawing, etc. Set tasks for yourself that keep you creating and noticing things even when your own ideas aren’t flowing, like drawing a different object every day or adapting a story that already exists. (A good book to read is The Creative Licence by Danny Gregory for all the advice you’ll ever need about creative exercises, keeping a journal for ideas and not being afraid to draw “badly”)’ Lily Rose-Beardshaw, Intern.