Today’s guest star is Jacques van Heerden – a freelance digital artist from South Africa who works under the creative identity An1ken. He runs Creativeoverflow – a fresh design blog for anything creative. You should definitely connect with him on Twitter @an1ken.

Creative Blocks are quite common in the industry that we work in especially amongst very busy designers. I can say that it is truly one of the most depressing feelings you can experience as a designer. The usual reason for obtaining such a evil thing is when a designer starts comparing his/her work against someone better than him/her. There are multiple reasons that a creative block can occur, but that is solely the main cause.

We aren’t here to debate about how and how not to get hold of a Creative Block. We are here to enrich your memory with some tips to avoid the hazard. Being a designer myself I have had the problem numerous times in the beginning, after following up and using these tips I haven’t had a Creative Block in more than a year. Let’s get straight tot the tips.

1. Doodle in Your Sketchbook

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Graphic Designers always sketch up some ideas or concepts when starting on new projects. I know I do and I have been sketching and drawing since I was little and you might have too. Drawing takes your mind off things and gets your creative juices flowing, you will be surprised how quickly ideas come back to you just from doodling in a little book.

2. Visit Inspirational Galleries on the Web

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Looking through designs that were created by other people is usually a great inspiration too. People around the world has gone about setting up Inspirational Galleries for us to visit and view masses of art on the same website, saving us time and effort. I recommend visiting Inspirational Design Galleries as a hobby day to day too, keeping you up to date with the design trends. Read more on 10 Niche Social Networks to Get Your Design Creativity On

3. Take a Walk

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Get out of your office, sitting all day is just going to make you look at the same things over and over again which definitely isn’t going to benefit you. Go outside and take the dog for a walk or just go for a walk by yourself. The fresh air and seamless nature around you might drive some new inspiration into you.

4. Search for New Fonts

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

You will be surprised by how much inspiration you can draw from a few simple curves. It freshens up your thinking patterns and gets your mind fixed on the things that you have to do. Fonts aren’t only used for saying something, they are also used to create something. Read more on 20 Websites for Font, Letter and Symbol enthusiasts

5. Stop Doubting Yourself

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Self doubt is a huge thing to overcome a a person, every person faces it sometime or another.When the time comes and you break free from the emotional stumble block a whole new world opens up. Like I said earlier don’t compare yourself to other people, take a stand and believe in yourself, you will accomplish a lot.

6. Get Away For a Day or Two

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Sitting in front of the computer days at a time isn’t good at all. My advice is to go away with friends or family for a day or two, the change of scenery will change your thinking patterns and a few ideas might spring up in the process. Keeping a balanced lifestyle is very important in the work that we do, working out is essential.

7. Take your work to the nearest Coffee Shop

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Working amongst a busy environment can be very beneficial, especially if you have to come up with new concepts and ideas. The reason is that nothing stays the same, it keeps constantly changing and therefore your thinking changes. You won’t understand the difference until you have experienced it yourself. Try it.

8. Go out with some friends

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

A night on the town with some friends can bring across some inspiration as well. Having fun and taking your mind off work lets you relax and have fun and not think about your clients.

9. Listen to some Music

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

Try changing your usual music taste to something different that you don’t always listen to. It broadens your spectrum of thinking and moving by inputting some new sounds and words. A lot of inspiration can be drawn from a simple song. Read more on 20 Fantastic Ways to Find New Music that You Like

10. Follow Some Tutorials

10 Tips to Avoid a Creative Block

You might think that you don’t want to follow tutorials because you want to come up with your own work, but learning new techniques is the only way to improve your skills and creativity. Following tutorials is a very good base to start off with, because you can add your personal touch to the image you are working on.

Your turn now guys, any tips you feel like sharing?