Secrets of the Creative Mind: Doodle

blockhead2“Creative Block” is something artists, designers, and writers experience throughout their careers. When I taught design, a student would sometimes tell me, “My assignment isn’t done because I just couldn’t think of a good idea.” What that student really meant is that they had the experience that we’ve all had: the inability to get our brain on task to solve a problem. Fortunately, there is help.

The first step is to realize that it’s OK. An initial lack of ideas can be an integral part of the creative process. When I was just starting out as a designer, I often felt a mild panic at the start of a project. But once I started doing some research—reading, looking and casually doodling—that usually led to a more frontal attack. Checking out how others have approached the work can get you going in a new direction, so make that part of your research. Look at everything, then stop looking and come up with your own fresh idea. Give your gray matter a break: your brain doesn’t always embrace new ideas head-on, so start with a casual approach and doodle your way out of it.

OK, now fast-forward. You’ve gotten this far, your creative project is still not done. You’ve been sitting in front of the computer for hours. Nothing new is happening. It must be time for the “Three Bs!”