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Personal guidelines to staying creative

So you need to do a creative project. No biggie - that’s your job. But some days, you can research all you want, there’s just nothing that inspires you. You get desperate and look through older projects - you could use them, but should you? Probably not. You’ve fallen into a creative rut - it happens, and it sucks. So here’s how I get out of them.

Being stuck in a creative rut

Everyone knows the feeling of being stuck in a work routine especially when you’re working in the creative industry. It’s comfortable to use the same pattern over and over again, because you know it works. To overcome this habit, you need to realise that this is a problem - being creative means coming up with new ideas and repetition often stands in the way of that, causing deadends.

Creativity comes from the outside world and most of my inspiration arises from museums and art galleries

It’s easy to use the internet to get inspired, but the best designs come from somewhere less obvious: Museums and Art Galleries. Works of art, often having nothing to do with digital design, can hugely affect your point of view of the world, your designs, and others. Brushstrokes of honesty and raw materials gently carry you back to the roots of humanity - where you can find inspiration from outside of your comfort zone. From there, your designs can become honest, because they stem from reality. 

Museums, frequently architectural landmarks, exhibit design in its purest form, externally as well as internally. Their interior is shaped specifically for displaying paintings and installations, but each museum is laid out differently - they have the same purpose but their architectural designs are distinct.

This may be an archetype for your designs, when they all aspire to be convincing, but should always be unique. 

Museums are built for crowds and there are certain rules which differ from what you’re used to on a daily basis. Here, you find yourself standing in an unusual context, out of your routine, with a lot of people around you - but all you can focus on is taking in the art. You’re a designer, it runs through your veins, you can feel a tickling sensation when you immerse yourself into colossal paintings, bigger than any wall in your home.

‘Art is therapy, a tool for understanding the many brushstrokes of life’, as Monocle Magazine has beautifully identified in 2014, when they revisited Alain De Botton’s Rijksmuseum. Watch also the documentary. This illustrates the impact museums have on us, as art can be therapeutic and open our minds up to curiosity, doubts, hopes and fears, to understanding the simple truths of life and our existence.

Creativity lies outside of your comfort zone

Get out of your comfort zone.

Museums and art galleries are not the only places where creativity can hit but they are part of a working method for myself. You could also just take a walk or read a magazine. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you chose to do - as long as you allow yourself to be inspired outside of your comfort zone. 

Your knowledge and experiences shape your designs and allow you to stay creative, so stimulating those should always be your priority. 

So, museums allow you to stay creative through their own design and displays. Getting out of a creative rut can be tough, but I truly believe that getting out of the house and out of your groove is the first step towards getting out of that furrow.