You do know about creativity block, don’t you? Chances are, if you do anything related to art for a living, you know it all too well. As for me, well, I’m in a constant creativity block, lads.
However, I have some aces up my sleeve for times like that. When I’m in front of an empty Photoshop canvas, wondering what in God’s name I must come up with, these are the places I visit to get inspiration:
- Design Melt Down
THE place for creative web design ideas. Do you have a vague idea of what design themes you’re gonna use in your next template, e.g. gradients? Go there, and check what other people have done based on this idea. An invaluable resource, for me. A ton of fresh ideas. Tip: Don’t mindlessly copy other people’s creations, try to grab the idea and do something fresh with it.
- Colour Lovers
Sometimes, even the most minimal of designs can get intriguing and eye-candy just by using a different colour palette. If you’re at a loss, check the palettes that the people down in Colour Lovers create: some are crazy, some are useless, but most of them are gems. Tip: try to find palettes with one dark colour, one or two medium ones and a lighter shade, for maximum contrast in web.
Design ideas? Zilch. Colour palettes? Nah. If you find yourself unable to come up with anything using the above, try browsing the excellent (and free) stock photos of sxc.hu for ideas. I’ve put up more than a few designs based solely on a great photo found in this site. Tip: if you found your photo of choice, create the colour palette you’ll use in your design by eyedropping colours off it.
And some inspirational tips, mostly opinions though, but they work for me:
- You don’t have to visit website showcase galleries to get inspiration. For me, it’s a painstaking procedure. I go there, see all the shiny blingy stuff, and after a half hour I shut my browser window and fire World of Warcraft. It’s the feeling that I’ll never do anything like it that drives me off. And we don’t want that, do we?
- Just for a while, try to avoid thinking about creativity and stuff you absolutely MUST do, but instead check your blogroll. If you already had, try to search YouTube for some Flight of the Concords stuff. Do something not really related to what you usually do, you can never know: inspiration can await in a Naruto episode (go Sasuke!).
- Fire up iTunes, or Winamp, or whatever plays music in your PC, and listen to a favourite song. Make thoughts related to that song, and pair the thoughts with colours. After a while, think only in colours: did you find your next colour palette yet?
If you still face that big ugly creative block, switch off the PC and return tomorrow. Take the day off and go cycling. Visit your grandparents. Cook. Make love, but not too much, or else you’ll end up with two days off.
You’ll find your lost inspiration somewhere in the path.