When A Visual Communicator Cannot See
As a visual communicator, I feel it is my job and responsibility to convey messages and tell a story to my audience or clients in a creative and insightful way. As a creative person, I need to tap into my inner and outer resources and come up with solutions that address what is attempting to be communicated in a graphic form. In other words, I need to "get it" in a visual way. Sometimes, however, I feel that I can't see anymore.
I guess what I am experiencing right now is a creative block and possibly a little burnout. I hear about it all the time and read numerous articles from others who experience this and offer suggestions on how to rejuventate and get those "creative juices" flowing again. I've been through this before. When this happens, however, I just find myself future-tripping and telling myself that I've lost "it" and that I was kidding myself to begin with about being a creative person.
I know I am my own worst critic and no matter how many hours spent and revisions made on a project, it's never good enough. I know, this is fodder for the therapist's couch, and, believe me, I've spent many an hour making an impression in my therapist's furniture. I just don't like the feeling that comes over me when I feel that I've lost it.
So, what's a guy to do?
First of all, TAKE A BREAK - both physically and mentally. I am the first to know how much of a workaholic I can be and that I can do "just one more thing" before calling it a day. Before long, too much time is spent doing "just one more thing" and I am exhausted and burned out. Get away from the desk and computer screen. Take a walk outside. It's actually nice in the daylight.
Second, LOOK AROUND. See what others are doing. What other examples of good and not-so-good visual solutions are out there. I have kept a trove of samples that I feel are great and also "what were they thinking!" for many years now and can count on one hand how many times I've actually gone through them. I also keep many articles on design ideas and tips, but file them away in my meticulous filing system, never to be found again. Some things are filed-away so well, I don't even know what I have.
And third, realize and remember that I AM ONLY HUMAN and can only do and be expected to do so much. It's OK to say NO sometimes and take a break. It's also OK to let someone else do it. Wow, what an ego. I've heard a saying before that says "I'm and egomaniac with an inferiority complex" and that makes me laugh. It certainly puts things into perspective for me. There are many other ways to move through a block and burnout and I am always willing to try more things.
This block will pass in time and I will move on and have other things to worry about and obsess on. For the time being, however, this is what it is. I also know that what sometimes are considered as blocks or setbacks are really a precursor to a breakthrough or some type of "awakening". That sounds all well and good, but it doesn't get the comps done right now.
I think I'll step outside and see what it looks like out there...