As a freelance illustrator, it’s crucial to think of creative ideas for my illustrations, designs and artworks. This ensures my work is individual and different from everyone else, as creative ideas is one of the most important elements of my work.
But it hasn’t always been that way. I had to work hard on my idea generation, playing around with concepts and making sure it communicates the right message. After years of practice and creative briefs to help me develop my own creative ideas, I now have a firm understanding of what makes up a good idea.
That’s not to say that I get stuck, annoyed and frustrated at myself when I can’t think of creative ideas, but I’ve learnt how to control it and use it to my advantage.
Within this blog post you will learn how to think of creative ideas that blows others away, develop your own confidence in your own ideas, and how to reframe from becoming frustrated with your lack of idea generation.
Develop Your Creative Ideas In Your Sketchbook
I’ll tell you a quick story if you will. Before I started University, I didn’t have much experience with developing an idea in my sketchbook, and especially developing an illustration composition.
When a tutor told me about sketchbook thumbnails and working out a composition, I had no idea where to start. I would be so used to thinking about ideas in my head, jot a couple of brainstorms down, and crack on with the illustration. This was a brand new world to me.
My previous way of working didn’t allow me to pull ideas apart, and take them further. But luckily for you, you don’t have to make the same mistake as me!
When you’re next thinking of a creative idea, make sure you’re starting from your sketchbook, layout paper or pieces of paper first. This makes sure that you’re covering all bases, pulling the idea apart, and thinking of other ideas too. Have a look at these examples above, which shows my sketchbook development for a type based illustration and logo design project.
Create mind maps, look at images, and think of as many different angles and approaches to the idea as you can.
As you start to build this idea development in your sketchbook, you can see what ideas are jumping out at you. You can then pick an idea that you think can work with your project, whether that be an illustration, design or painting.
Have Confidence In Your Ideas
Confidence is key within all walks of life, and is especially important with idea generation too.
If you don’t have absolute confidence in your own ideas, then no one else will.
Much like the story I was telling you before, I had to develop my own confidence with sketching my ideas in my sketchbook, and only with practice did this occur. I now have confidence with ideas and concepts, but in order for you to gain confidence, you need to practice this side of your creative talents. Set personal projects for yourself and see if you can create a creative idea that you’re really proud of.
And even if you still struggle to think of that mind blowing idea, you’re getting better with every project, and you will notice that your ideas are improving too – giving you confidence in your own abilities.
Step Away From The Digital World
It sometimes makes me sad to see so many people glued to their screens nowadays. There’s a world out there for you to explore, and so much more than the digital world.
Sometimes when you’ve been staring at a computer screen for hours, trying desperately to think of that mind blowing creative idea, you can stop yourself from seeing the bigger picture. You can easily become frustrated and annoyed at yourself, but to solve this, you need to have a break!
Step away from your tablet, remove all of those laptops in your study, and silence all of the televisions around you, and breathe. Taking breaks is an important ingredient within creative idea generation, as it recharges your batteries and gives your brain a rest.
I often take breaks during my idea generation process, as it helps me focus on the task at hand. When I come back from a break, I’m fresh, I’m invigorated, and I can then easily discover a brand new idea that I didn’t think of before.
Switch Between The Visual & Written
Everyone is different, and we all learn and develop in many different ways. Some respond to the written word, others like looking at videos, whilst others prefer the visual world. With your creative idea generation, it’s important that you switch between visuals and the written word.
If you keep staring at your page of written words or your mind map, it can become very one dimensional. If you then look at images from particular keywords or phrases, it can drastically help you think of ideas that you didn’t think before.
From look at it’s colour, compositions, negative space, to a way something looks and feels, this can trigger a creative spark.
I often do this to help me think of extra ideas and compositions, as sometimes words just isn’t enough!
Creative Ideas Don’t Come Easy, But…
You can develop your own creative ideas, it’s mainly just down to practice! I’ve always believed that practice is so important within any industry, and is especially importantly with creative generation.
From working in your sketchbook, switching between the visual and written word, and taking those all important breaks, everyone can think creatively.
Visit this blog post at any time if you feel like you’re particularly struggling with creative ideas, and jot these tips down so it doesn’t happen again.
Be creative, be bold, and be confident in your approach, and you will be onto a winner!
How have you thought of creative ideas?
Is there anything I’ve missed?
Comments are welcome below!
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