Switching from Output to Input

Burnout is something that all of us deal with, and in a creative field like graphic design or illustration, it can be particularly devastating. We artists can often be quite fragile and we have a tendency to attach our egos to our works. Each logo or graphic is a little part of ourselves that we put out there into the world. And when we have created a little too much output, we run the risk of staring at that blank screen and seeing nothing.

Creativity is as draining as any other activity, but recharging often requires more than just physical rest. One way to refill the creative batteries is to switch specifically from output to input. Inspiration comes from a variety of sources, and when your creative battery is dry, you can often refill it with the output of others. If it’s writer’s block, reading can often help you push past it. If you’re struggling with a logo, look around online at designer’s blogs and see how they solved a problem.

Trying to come up with a great illustration or painting? Try looking at the artists that first inspired you to do what you do. Then look up the artists that inspired them and go on a creative deep-dive. In doing so, you focus not on your own creative problems but instead can see how they solved theirs.

We’re all different, so for you the answer might be music or a movie or a favorite show. It may come in switching gears to a different creative pursuit. For me, when the words aren’t coming in writing, I draw. When the lines don’t want to behave in a drawing, I paint or design. Whatever it is that you need to fill up your own creative batteries, do it. Creativity cannot be muscled through in the same way as other physical tasks, and the best way to charge yourself for more creating is to stop creating and start absorbing. 

Written by Blog Contributor: Dee Fish