For a long time, I thought that creativity had to be something innate within you. I was fairly convinced that only special people had creativity and those lucky few didn’t have to worry about losing it.
But I have realized that creativity is absolutely something you have to cultivate in yourself. As Twyla Thorp, the world class choreographer points out in her book The Creative Habit, there are a lot of ways to help yourself remain creative. A lot of them are interestingly enough, inversely related.
Developing a routine can help, finding a consistent place for creative work, a time of day or type of music that can signal to your brain that it’s time to think creatively. On the flip side, trying something new can also spur new ways of thinking.
Other tips include getting inspiration from other pieces, idea dumping, idea mapping, journaling for moments of inspiration and more.
Today though, I want to talk about taking a break from design. Sometimes this can be the most powerful tool for creativity. From walking around the office for a few minutes in between assignments to a week of vacation, breaks can reinvigorate your work.
For me, I have been burning the candle at both ends a bit too frequently this semester. With a job, internship and three time consuming classes, finding time to do everything has been tricky. Sometimes it takes a toll on my creativity. So for spring break, I didn’t design a thing. I didn’t even open my laptop and it was GREAT.
What I learned is that for me to be at my best, I have to take some time to rest. Right now that means being sure to take hours away from my computer and do things like taking a bike ride as a break during a long day.
As backwards as it may seem, when there’s too much to do, taking a strategic break can be the best thing to do.