THE CREATIVE PROCESS – PART 3: TAKING A BREAK

Published on August 21st, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS DESIGN PROCESS

THE-BREAK

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.

feeling-burnt-out

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.

TAKING-A-BREAK-RECAP

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.

CHANGE PROJECT
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.

CHANGE ACTIVITY
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.

having-more-options

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?

  • Aaren Jackson

    Changing my workspace has been INCREDIBLY helpful for me!! Being at home all day makes me stir crazy, so I explore. I’ll either answer emails at a park or at a new coffee shop, or make a 30 minute drive to go to the most beautiful and most spacious Starbucks in my favorite town. Helps me to focus (because let’s be real, being out of your home is never as “comfy” as being in your home haha) and really just get it done. GREAT POST!

    August 26, 2015 at 9:18 am

  • Aaren, so very true. It’s never as comfy but it helps break the ‘cabin fever’ feeling and Starbucks has pretty tasty drinks, win-win. Then back home haha

    August 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

  • Esther

    This is so on point! I’ve struggled with the burnt out creativity in the past. I am thinking of getting a laptop since I’ve been moving my giant iMac from room to room, haha! I definitely love switching to paper, too!

    August 26, 2015 at 9:38 am

  • I used to have an iMac as well and felt so stuck. Getting a Mackbook definitely helped with the mobility, especially as a mom who has to be all around the house it seems.

    August 26, 2015 at 9:49 am

  • Katie Whitcomb

    This is all great advice. I needed that after 8 weddings in 4 weekends. I need a break to reset.

    August 26, 2015 at 9:54 am

  • Katie, you are a trouper lady! Yes, I can see you needing the last type of break.

    August 26, 2015 at 10:05 am

  • Katie

    Although I’m not an established business owner by far, I’ve been constantly doing things from learning marketing, keeping up with social media, doing some shoots, learning more, trying to network, blogging, plus a full time job where I work twelve hours in a workday, I’m completely drained all the time. I’m so impatient with myself and wanting to get my business going NOW that it’s hard to step aside and take a break.

    August 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

  • Katie, I understand what you mean. I am a mother of two little ones running my business alone from home and with no family around that I can call up and have come over to help. It gets to be too much at times when I feel like my kids are unhappy or that my business is not growing enough and that I still have no room for breaks. That’s why Switching things up is key. I know I can’t always just stop working or being a mom, but if I follow all those options in the article and insert some breathing room here and there in my days I feel less consumed. I hope you find the best way to give yourself some relief and that your business takes off.

    August 26, 2015 at 10:23 am

  • Lynn

    These are all really helpful tips! I work in a corporate office during the day doing graphic design and sometimes in order to avoid burnout and feeling “Stuck”, I take a break and do a quick walk around the building just to walk and get some fresh air before heading back in to work.

    August 26, 2015 at 10:38 am

  • That’s a great idea Lynn! Walking is great too because you get to excercice as well. Ah, multitasking again! I am incorrigible teehee!

    August 26, 2015 at 11:31 am