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Keep Your Creative Career Fresh

Keep Your Creative Career Fresh

Paul Carew

As designers, it’s essential that we stay inspired, motivated, and continue to learn and evolve in our craft. Given the opportunity to shift roles in this industry, it’s important to stay fresh and keep the creative options wide open. Following are some techniques that can help clear and prepare your brain for original design thinking.

Keep your eyes wide open

Inspiration can hit when you least expect it. Most likely it will happen when you are NOT thinking about a specific project. The creative subconscious does heavy lifting without our help. Pay attention to these opportunities — don’t miss these important moments.

Be inspired by others

Originality in design thinking is a responsibility. Pay attention to industry trends as well. Follow the portfolio of agencies and the career paths of important designers to find inspiration in their successes and evolution. Attend conferences and see fellow creatives speak on techniques, changes in the industry, and their experience.

Take a hike

Embrace any opportunity to enjoy nature or be out of doors to stay fresh. The answer to a creative challenge isn’t in a book or on the Internet. The freshest and most original ideas are in your brain. A change in scenery that can allow inspiration to knock or if anything offer an important pause in your day.

Go to the library

Libraries are an under-used resource for graphic designers. Researching with traditional methods can lead to a more tangible and creative process. Take advantage of the ability to find visual resources and uncover something you wouldn’t find online.

Sleep on it

Our creative brains need a chance to rest. A good night of sleep can fire your subconscious and allow for an alternative approach to a design problem. Many creatives have claimed to have dreamt about a design or project. When we must be “on” every day, being well rested is a luxury.

Take more showers

Starting the day with a shower is an essential part of my routine. This time is usually spent planning my day and getting my brain ready for the projects in my sketchbook or on my desk. This valuable time can be used for innovation and brainstorming.

Consider moonlighting

Take advantage of this opportunity if you are employed at an agency or organization that allows you to do freelance work. It’s important to relax when away from the office or studio, but this time is valuable to exercise other creative muscles when away from work.

Volunteer for a cause

Taking a break from the corporate world can offer a refreshing experience, balance, and a bigger-picture view. Working with non-profit organizations can be fulfilling and, if negotiated for, may offer creative freedom. Working for a cause that you truly believe in can be an extremely rewarding experience.

Take advantage of any opportunity to keep your creative muscles flexed. These steps are worth taking in order to stay fresh day-to-day in your career. Designers have the luxury of entering a lifetime career — stay fresh and be prepared to jump on any creative opportunities that present themselves.

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