Back to Basics - Drawing Inspiration

9:58 AM

Back to basics
Reminder to Self: Go back to basics when you hit an inspiration block.

This past week, I was suffering from designer's block. I have to present two web design concepts to a client, but I was having trouble putting my ideas on Illustrator. I had a kaleidoscope of ideas, but they were not clear to me. I did it all, I browsed the web for inspiration, took walks, browsed through my rudimentary inspiration file, talked about it with others - you name it, I did it.

Well, after many unsuccessful attempts to put graphics tablet pen to artboard, I decided to shut down my computer. I grabbed a pencil, a ruler, my box of crayons, and two sheets of blank paper. I told myself I would not do anything else until I had two "sketches" completed. Whether I would go with them or not was besides the point, but just have two visions completed. In about an hour I had two visions on paper that I like enough to follow through with.

My next step is to create internet prototypes for these layouts. I will then draw them in Illustrator so I can start identifying images and graphics for the respective sections. Not only did I have fun using my crayons, but I am so relieved that I now have a direction.

I usually build off of my internet prototype, but this time I think I was just in need of something a little more hands to de-clutter my mind. Something about the crayons and the blank paper just lightened up my mental load.

Lesson Learned: When you're having trouble coming up with ideas or staying inspired, do whatever you must do to bring fun into your work, keep it simple, and be open to changing up your process every now and then.

Happy freelancing, Carmen

P. S. I have a box of 96 crayons that sits on my desk and I carry a box of 24 crayons in my purse :)

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  1. I'm not sure that biology has caught up to technology..what I mean by that is, our brain responds when we use our senses. When we touch, taste, smell, hear. Seratonin is released, endorphins, all from touch and I'm not quite sure if typing has the same effect. can feel the roughness of crayon, smell the wax, hear it rubbing across paper. Perhaps there is a great divine reason biology moves slower. Perhaps we're meant to take it back to basics.

  2. You're right. I'm glad we have different streams of creativity to play with. Our senses have a special role and will always keep us grounded in reality, while technology has its place allowing us to give and take information to a level of near infinity. The possibilities...

  3. I was having a hard time with an article that I was trying to write for another website the other day (I think I was venting about it on twitter/thanks for the advice :)

    Eventually, I decided to step away from it and do something else. When i came back to it awhile later, instead of trying to force that topic, I just wrote what I was in the mood to write. Perhaps it's comparable to stretching before dancing or doing those funny faces and noises before singing. It really helped though. I also thoroughly enjoy and appreciate coloring with my kids. It really helps me to take the filter off and just draw what makes me feel good.

  4. GG, Yes, feeling good is a major part of tapping into your creativity for work purposes, especially. I'm sure there's some chemistry involved in addition to the obvious psychological benefits.