First off, I would like to mention that this is my 200th post. Thank you everyone who reads this blog and supports me. Thank you to all of my followers, friends, and family for the inspiration to keep living my dream and for the interest in it. It’s been a blast and I can’t wait for 200 more. Alright let’s get down to business.
The ability to use a program, like Illustrator or Photoshop, does not make you a graphic designer. To be a graphic designer, you need ideas. Ideas are what separate the users from the designers, and the good from the bad.
So how do you get ideas? Ideas come in many different ways and forms. They often come sporadically, which creates a serious problem. As a graphic designer, on the professional level, the successful designers are the ones who can come up with killer ideas on the spot. The fact is, some people were just given the gift of creative thinking. Those are most often the successful creators. So what if you struggle coming up with good ideas quickly. Is there a sure-fire method? Not that I know of, but there are ways of improving your brainstorming and idea developing processes.
Stimulate your brain. The best way to do this is to keep going to inspiration sites. You may think it is a waste of time, but casually look. You don’t have to look just when you are working or designing something. If you are bored and have an extra 5 minutes, go to your favorite site and start looking. You may not get an idea right away but the more good ideas you stuff in your brain subconsciously, the more you will get when you need a good idea. Numerous times I’ve been faced with a task and an element of a design I saw pops in my head, and the journey starts. You may not get an idea when you see the inspiration, but it will come when you need it. Need a couple sites for inspiration? Here are my top 3:
From Up North – http://www.fromupnorth.com/
Serial Thriller – http://serialthriller.com/
Pinterest (here’s mine) – http://www.pinterest.com/calebminear/
Just start going. This may seem crazy but if nothing is coming, just start making something. You can start on paper with some doodles if you like, but just start something. Put some text on the screen, and try different fonts. Eventually you will find you will get an idea just from seeing the words or elements on the screen. It is easy to delete something and undo something, so just start it, even without a plan.
Take a break. If you have been trying to find a good idea for a while, the best thing to do is not think. Often the inspiration you take in is stored in your subconscious. If you keep fretting for an idea, you are using the conscious part of your mind. To access your subconscious mind, stop thinking. Work on something else, or better, walk away. Go talk to someone and you will find you will get an idea. Why do you think you get so many good ideas in the shower? There’s nothing to focus on in the shower, so you start rushing through your subconscious mind.
There may not be a sure fire way to get ideas on the fly, but these methods are great tools for accessing your full potential.