Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why Does Your Creative Career Feel Stagnant? 4 Things You Can Do To Change That

Whether you're a graphic designer, web designer, illustrator, writer or any kind of working creative, there's no doubt that at some point you've felt that your career is less than creative and down right stagnant. You work day to day on client work, and get the job done, but something inside you is just not right. The excitement you used to have about your job is now almost completely gone and you seriously feel like you might want to do something else. The good news is this happens to all of us and there are a few things we can do to change how we feel and get some of that lost passion back. Here are 4 ways to fight off the dullness.

Mentor /Mentee
 If you're just starting off in your creative career and you're already feeling like the work can be boring, you could benefit greatly from a mentor. A mentor's purpose is to challenge and encourage a younger generation with their years of experience. This can really ignite a fire in a newbie and start something special. In reverse, being a mentor allows you to see things you've seen a million times through new eyes. It's like when you blow bubbles with little kids and it becomes fun and exciting again. Send an email out or a tweet, and see what you get.

Do Some Reading
Reading may not be your cup of tea, but all it takes is the right book. For example, I've been reading Caffeine for the Creative Mind. It focuses on creative, daily exercises that help you boost your creative powers. As the book says "the only thing keeping you from reaching a new level of creative thought is inaction". There are plenty of other books out there that can help, this is the one I recommend, but please share any other great books later in the comments section.

Record a Podcast
This one might be a little strange but I've done it a handful of times and I've always gone home with the desire to create. It's as simple as getting a friend, using the voice memo tool on your iPhone, putting it in the middle of the table, and letting the conversation fly. It forces you to talk about the things you care about and the things that inspire you. It's a lot of fun (especially if you have a few drinks!) and you can listen back to it and get ideas.

Reinvent Yourself
Easier said than done, I know. If you're feeling like your career is not doing it for you anymore, you might want to consider trying something else. I know a few graphic designers who decided to be web designers and a freelance writer who decided to publish her own eChildren's books and their much happier now. Sometimes you don't have to reinvent yourself per se, but go back to your roots. I decided it was time for me to do more drawing and it's lead me to doing a line of illustrations that I'll be putting up for sale on a Tanoshiboy store. The point is to stay creative no matter what and get that passion back. Do some thinking and hopefully you'll find a new found spark or a new passion.

Do you have any ideas you'd add to this list or other recommendations? Please share them in the comments section. Are you feeling burned out at work? Thinking about abandoning the design ship? Changed your career? Tell us what you did. And please share this post with your creative pals in a tweet and use @salvatier. Thanks for reading!