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25 ways to kick off a creative New Year

Added on Monday 18th of January 2010 07:43 am EST



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As you ring in the New Year, you may have resolved to boost your health and fitness. But as an artistic professional, don’t neglect nurturing your creative side as well. Just as your body needs exercise to stay fit, your brain needs a workout to keep those creative juices flowing! Here are 25 tips to help you flex your creative muscles—keeping your brain in top innovative form so you can push the envelope on your artistry and really impress your clients this year!


Even if you despise New Year’s resolutions, you still probably sink into a creative rut occasionally. Those doldrums can rob your clients of outstanding designs and drain your mental energy. So whether you need a resolution to call your own or simply need help when your fire burns low, we’ve got you covered. Put the following creative boosters to work when you need some rekindling.



1. Exercise

Yes, even your first resolution is good fuel for your creative spirit. After all, slouching at a desk, working on your computer all day can stiffen even the most limber muscles. Make time in your busy week for a mix of cardio and strength training, and you’ll be amazed at how energized your body—and your brain—feels.


2. Visit a museum or art gallery

Admiring others’ artistic talents is a great way to get your own artistic juices flowing. Checking out other artists’ styles and their varying use of line, color, and form are also great creative refreshers.


3. Go out and play

If you find yourself stumped for your next ad, brochure layout, or any design piece, step away from your assignment for a little while. Many creative individuals find they get their best ideas while on the golf course or soaking in a bubbly tub. Get your mind to a happy place and the creative ideas will follow.


4. Shake up your routine

Take a different route to work, try something new for lunch, rearrange your desk, or change your desktop wallpaper! A fresh approach to your day will give you a new perspective and help you think more creatively.


5. Time your day right

Your job probably consists of some creative work, some production work, and perhaps even some clerical duties if you work for a small company. Pick the time of day you feel most energized and creative, and set that time aside for your design tasks.


6. Disconnect while creating

Turn off email alerts, or better yet, close your email application altogether when you’re doing your creative work. Check your inbox every so often for urgent issues, but give yourself a block of time to concentrate without distractions.


7. Switch gears

Take a break or a walk between technical and creative tasks to get away from your desk and refocus your energies.


8. Brainstorm with your coworkers

Getting others’ input is a great way to see if your creative work is on the right track. Oftentimes an off-the-wall comment will spark a creative idea, leading to a brilliant visual solution.


9. Keep a sketchbook

Keep a sketchbook or journal handy at all times. Pull it out to doodle, sketch, log inspirational websites, or jot down ideas so you don’t forget them. Then, refer to it when you need a creative boost.


10. Ask for feedback

Solicit constructive criticism from y...


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