Creatives: Get out more!

Forty49 creatives handbook

Struggling to get creative? Have creative block? forty49’s Client Services & Media Manager, Karen Selby shares her top tips for getting creative ideas to flow and avoiding creative brick wall:

Whilst I am speaking from the experience of having been a freelance creative, the importance of some external stimulation to get the creative juices flowing applies to any creative.

Yes, there are wonderfully inspiring examples of work by our peers around the globe, with many available online. Its always good to get an idea of what is going on in other studios and in some instances, it helps to raise your game.

But when you start putting down ideas, inspiration can prove to be elusive!

I find that sometimes a design or concept can happen in the first few hours of sitting down. The briefing stage, the product or a discussion has been enough for you to scramble to get your thoughts down. However there will always be times when youll be left with ideas that aren’t quite working, and lie just under the surface.

My top tips? Leave the desk earlier. Try looking at other, less obvious sources to trigger some new ways of thinking. Watch the news, chat with a friend, visit a client, but most of all, get out. Leave the environment youre in and go and walk the streets/mall/countryside for a while, look around you not with a particular intent or idea in mind, but just to let what you see wash over you. Its often by hitting this mental refresh button that we can get ideas to take a new direction, get some inspiration, or get you starting to think more clearly about how an idea can work.

In a digital age we can get into the habit of relying on our Mac screen for our entire stimulus, but you can create a bit of a vacuum in which it is difficult to get ideas to go further after a certain point. It may not work for everyone, but my advice is, if youre hitting a creative brick wall, take a walk.

Need help with your creative thinking for your advertising and design? Give Karen, Richard or Mark at forty49 a call on 01283 533196, or email us at