So school has started and if you are anything like me, you are still trying to get into the groove. Figuring out when you have time for homework, cooking, work, and more is always a bit challenging the first few weeks. Maybe it is because I am preoccupied trying to adapt to a new schedule, but I always feel pretty uninspired during the first couple weeks of class. Of course, classes aren't going to wait around for you to get thinking creatively again, so what can you do if you ever find yourself uninspired or in a creative slump?
One thing I do if I find myself lacking creativity is to go online and look at work that might inspire me. Everyone has their own favorite sites for finding design inspiration, but one some of my favorites are dribbble and Designspiration. I am more fond of dribbble, as people often choose to share only "shots" of a piece of work they are working on. A "shot" on dribble is just a small snapshot of part of a final piece. The reason I prefer this is that it helps me to imagine how the rest of work might look and gets the creative juices in my brain flowing. Designspiration has mostly finished works, which is great for getting inspiration, but sometimes leads to the desire to copy the style of original work too closely. While copying the style of a professionals work solely for practice isn't necessarily a bad thing, you should strive to develop it and adapt it into your own unique style and piece of work. Designer and Illustrator Jessica Hische has a great article on inspiration vs. imitation that I would highly recommend reading.
So what if you go online and still feel uninspired? Well, searching online for inspiration isn't always the first thing I do. Other things I like to do if I am lacking creative drive is to listen to music and take a walk or bike ride to clear my head, or flip through my cell phone pictures. I often take pictures of interesting things I see while out like this awesome hand lettered sign and later look back through my pictures for inspiration. Lastly, one of my favorite things to do when uninspired is to just put the project out of my mind for a few days (if times allows). Often coming back to a project after a few days of taking a break will clear your head for more options and ideas.