Experience design studio
Wonderland
Opinion

How we overcome creative blocks

Wonderlanders, like everyone else, face creative blocks from time to time. Here's how we overcome them.

By Theo de Monchy Strategy

Wonderlanders, like everyone else, face creative blocks from time to time. It’s not because of a lack of interest or passion or anything as mundane as that. It’s simply that the creative tank needs to be refreshed and revitalised on occasion. We’ve gotten pretty good - especially through the pandemic - at topping it up, and to that end we thought it would be a good idea to share some of these techniques and methods with our readers, and hopefully help them to overcome their own creative blocks, if and when they arise. 

Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular solutions our creatives turn to is a walk outside. For all of our designers, getting out into the fresh air helps them to clear their heads and reset before getting back to work. In doing this, and giving themselves a change of scenery, they can often stumble across unexpected solutions and ideas that can bring unlooked-for stimulation and inspiration. Forcing creativity - especially with a looming deadline - does nothing but stifle creative outputs. As Megs said, “it’s the worst thing you can do.” But taking the time go get outside and take a breath, to step away from the screen and get some fresh air, it’s the simplest way to recharge the creative batteries and find an exciting solution. 

Wonderland

Another favourite of ours is to find inspiration through exploration. When we can’t land on a solution that we’re happy with, or if we’ve spent too long trying to make something work and we just can’t find the right idea, we’ll take to the internet. Online platforms and magazines that share and hero designs from other creatives can often unlock inspiring thought processes, or spark new ideas. Typically designers like Michelle and Daniela will look at these works through the lens of their own challenges, trying to find new ways to collect and shape their designs based on the excitement and inspiration they can draw from the work of others. This is especially effective when aligned against the initial mission and/or reason for the designs in the first place, and making sure that the new inspiration takes them in the right direction, relative to the brief. 

Alongside looking at work from other designers is speaking with them directly. For Megs and My Kim, and Ted, this is a tried-and-true method of breaking through creative blocks. Ping-ponging ideas back and forth and exploring different solutions and alternatives as a team often deliver a more exciting final product than one that would be found alone. It’s also a solution that benefits heavily from the Wonderland ethos of hiring people from diverse and varied backgrounds, as the solutions we end up with are inspired by multiple inputs and schools of thought. 

Ideas can often come to us when we least expect it, even in our sleep. As we all know, a great dream, horrifying nightmare, or incredible idea can leak from our heads moments after we wake up, and once they’re gone, they rarely return. To avoid this, Daniela keeps a pen and paper by her bed, and uses them to capture idea as soon as they arrive to ensure nothing is lost just because she’s tired. These subconscious thoughts can often act as the ‘jumping-off’ point that help her find the solution to a design challenge she’s been struggling with.

Wonderland

Ultimately, there are endless ways to boost inspiration, from a walk outside to jumping on another project, to literally jumping on a trampoline. Within Wonderland, our team have come up with a few tried and tested methods that work for us and help us to keep the creative juices flowing. We’d love to know if any of the designers out there have other solutions, or techniques they try when they face a creative block.

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