Creative block and how to overcome it


Occasionally, creative people (of all kinds) have to deal with a lack of inspiration / motivation / creative block, call it whatever you want. No exception here 🙂 During the years, I had creative block several times and it usually lasts up to one month and as it comes, unexpectedly it goes away the same way.

How it begins…Well, it sneaks up on you, and by the time you realize it, you’re deep in it. You can let go or fight it back.

First creative block happened to me four years ago and it really surprised me. I had a really big commission from a very nice client from UK and the job was very pleasant and successfully finished. Whole package, logo, branding, stationery, brochures, etc. Everything went very well, actually. But, after that job, I just couldn’t touch my computer. It’s like I was drained out completely, in a positive way, but still, with nothing left inside. I avoided work a week or two and then I realized that it’s not that I am still tired or anything, it’s just that I can’t work. Literally, I can’t pick up mouse and can’t look at the Illustrator.

And then, a brilliant thing happened. Somewhere along the line, while procrastinating and pretending to be working, I came across a Modern Calligraphy Tutorial. I was interested and took the course. Little by little, I was hooked. I bought pen and nibs, ink, paper and played with it every day. Very quickly, it started to look relatively OK and that is the point where I decided to pursue it professionally.

That is how Inky Jar was born. I was so into it these days, that the name just came to me, naturally – even though I still have trouble explaining what it means in my mother tongue since calligraphy isn’t that popular in my country. It turned out great, since I got to the point where I create script fonts and still do Calligraphy on a daily basis. You can check my fonts here.

Second creative block was long after this one, and then I started to watercolor. It was pretty amazing how quickly I turned my playing into real works, which were in fact of a decent quality. They are hanging on my wall, as we speak.

There were other blocks, too, but not this significant, and each of them made me better in what I do, so I learned trough time, that creative blocks are not that bad. If you know how to learn from them.

The last creative block was the major one, biggest so far and I am still kind of in it. I literally couldn’t work for couple of months and this time, there was no hobby attractive enough (I’ve tried everything apparently, nothing more to explore :-)) to engage me and it just made me feel miserable for months. But, then I started to think about what I can do about it.  So, I am playing again, this time with photography, whenever I can. It keeps my brain in the game.


Why am I telling you all this? Because, this made me realize that creative blocks can only be overcame by playing. Not with work, not for someone, not for money (maybe the most important), but for yourself. It should be some hobby, personal project you always wanted to do, but couldn’t find time, or just something that accidentally pops in front of you, like me with Calligraphy. And people around you should let you play without asking questions or trying to cheer you up. Who knows, maybe you’ll build a business from it, like I did?

So, how are you dealing with creative block?


    • So far I learned that if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You have to let it go for a few days, or sometimes even longer and it’ll come back. It always does. Just takes time. Plus, it helps if you’re doing something completely different – play around till you’re ready to get back to real work. Wish you best luck with your creative block! 🙂

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