We started this mini series with the mood board which can be seen as a creative ice breaker and a base tool for any visual project. Then we talked about (over) communicating and making sure there are no unspoken frustrations throughout the process that could abruptly end a project and/or a relationship with a client. Now let’s look at the concept of the break. This is the third and final element of the creative process I wanted to highlight this week. It is particularly key for multitaskers who tend to take too much on and do too much all at once – guilty here! Feeling burnt out will hinder your creativity and ultimately stop you from producing your best work.
Taking a break, whatever it is, is indeed invaluable in the creative process believe it or not. By experience I have found four different kinds of breaks, interruptions, changes, pauses or however you prefer to call them, that help me avoid burnouts and boost my creativity.
CHANGE YOUR MEDIUM
It is unbelievable how we can get so stuck on one thing even when it’s just not working out – are you with me? Changing your medium of work from screen to paper for example, if you can that is, gives you room to think differently and opens the door to new and fresh ideas. Plus sometimes it’s simply easier to be creative and more ‘artsy’ with a paintbrush than a keyboard and mouse. If you are trying to write for example get on a tablet or on a phone or even the good ole notebook.
CHANGE YOUR WORKSPACE
Switching your workspace does wonders. Go to another room, go sit outside, get yourself in a more comfortable chair or couch, or even go to a coffee shop downtown. It almost makes you feel like you are working on a new project and it all becomes less exerting and strenuous. You could even take it farther. Let’s say you are trying to work on a coast inspired brand, pick yourself up and go to the beach if you can. Surrounding yourself with your inspiration will certainly facilitate your work and who doesn’t like the beach, right? This is just an example of course.
Sometimes changing your medium and your workspace doesn’t do anything and you still feel stuck, and overwhelmed and just not inspired. You then need to switch the project you are working on altogether and come back to it at a later time. Creativity is a very fluid concept and it happens that the flow is sky high or on the contrary way low. No need to beat yourself up because that will only make you more frustrated and feel trapped in that specific project. Coming back with a fresh look later on is the best option for you and your project.
Changing activity or simply put taking a break from work, in the common sense of the term, is the final option here if you feel stuck and burnt out in your creative process. The possibilities are endless for this one: lunch break, play break, take the time to watch something (yay Netflix), go for a walk, have a snack, call a friend, etc. In other words stop working, period! That could mean taking a couple of days off even to prevent a complete brain freeze and develop negative feelings towards what you do.
Being a mommy and having a one woman show kind of business with a home office quickly gets overwhelming and can lead to burnouts. I have to watch myself and truly be diligent about applying those break rules. I cannot afford losing my mind, I am my back up, the last line of defense in a way haha. If I feel like I have more options in my creative process, I feel more productive and more accomplished.
REVERIE MINGLES: WHAT TYPE OF BREAK HAVE YOU PERSONALLY FOUND EFFECTIVE IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?