10 Ways to Boost Creativity for Design Professionals

Have you ever wondered how an architect comes up with an award-winning building design or a fashion designer creates a fashion-forward line of clothing that everyone wants? Creativity is at the heart of all design and seeking the inspiration to boost that creativity can sometimes be a challenge. In some ways, we are all design professionals. You don’t have to design an automobile, write a novel, or sculpt a gorgeous sculpture to be a design professional. Everyday we all embark on tasks that require us to think, dream, collaborate in our head with our own voices, and get inspired to be creative in everyday life. Whether you are a design professional as a living or you just enjoy boosting your creativity juices, here are a few tips to consider.

1. Find a new place to let your mind wander:

For many designers the ability to find a new place to seek creativity can often be a challenge. Whether it’s because you are only used to your old ways or you can’t think of new ones- creativity is stifled when it’s not allowed to be stimulated. Open up your curtains in your home and stare out into the world and go explore somewhere you’ve never been. If you can’t leave your home – surf the internet, read a book or try a different routine for a few days and see what sparks fly. Often times, just letting in more light to your dark interiors sheds a new perspective on your creative mind. Fotofantastika / Getty Images

2. Boost creativity amongst the outdoors:

Whether animate or inanimate objects inspire you, nature has the entire spectrum wrapped up into an ever-changing landscape. Visit a local park, walk around your outdoor home and try bringing a camera with you. Some of the greatest design origins come from capturing nature on film. Instead of walking through your garden, pick up some garden tools and plant some flowers. There is no better way to seek creativity than being amongst nature. If you can’t get outside on a regular basis why not use your awesome panoramic views to inspire you?

3. Make your home office have a new purpose

If you are a designer and are in a rut for finding creativity, take a look at your home office. Whether it is a painting studio, a woodworking bench out in the garage or if you’re a chef and it’s your kitchen – how inspiring is it to work in? Surround your workspace with images of goals you want to accomplish, fill your bookshelves with books you are dying to read! Your immediate workspace is a reflection of your mind; make it magical and full of wonder with colors, patterns and textures to inspire more of your senses. For more creative home office ideas, look at these 30 home offices that will help with your productivity.  privetik / Getty Images

4. Go on vacation for enjoyment not just for work

When is the last time you enjoyed a vacation because of the pure joy of leaving your normal life and exploring a new city or destination? Designers who are inspired can seek more ideas when traveling. New cultures, people, geography, music, food and more all are catalysts to your imagination. Instead of holding off on that cruise around the world, pack up the car and go drive for a few hours and see what happens!

5. Get inspired by kids’ play areas and creative play

When we were young there was always the opportunity for kids to showcase their creative minds. From displaying your artwork at school, to making pottery in art or doodling a cool self-portrait of yourself! Why not use the same idea for keeping your adult creative mind active and energized? Organize a playroom or area for you to doodle, create and be imaginative. We can all still be kids with the right mindset!

6. Document your ideas when the mood strikes

Instead of going through your days having inspired thought but then forgetting them once you get back to your craft – remember to document your life experiences. Whether through a creative look book or collaborative board like Pinterest or even Evernote or by taking photos, you will be surprised how many ideas are lost throughout the day, which turn into missed opportunities to use your creative ambition on your everyday work world.

7. Allow yourself and your work to have a sense of humor

Somewhere along the path of life adults became serious people who forgot how to have a sense of humor, especially in the work world. Creativity isn’t always about discipline, in fact letting your mind forget “the rules” may help you spark creative design ideas, new lyrics to a song, creative new fashion trends or architectural elements that you may have never thought of. Assess your work lifestyle, your home interiors and office and any place where it could use some more whimsy.  

Yifei Fang / Getty Images

8. Practice getting inspired by visually dissecting a single element

Another way to let your mind find creative thought is by choosing a single element such as a vintage clock or a bright colored chair and make your mind concentrate on the design elements that make it unique. This daily practice of dissecting and analyzing will help your mind become better attuned to finding creativity in every piece of your world. Try doing this several times a week, until you do it naturally without having to concentrate on being creative.  IP Galanternik D.U. / Getty Images

9. Be collaborative with your peers

The next time you are seeking creative inspiration look no further than fellow peers and co-workers to bounce ideas off of. While you may think that you all share the same experiences because you work together, there is nothing better than synergy. Have a “think-session” at your favorite location or escape the design office and meet somewhere that inspires all of you like a museum, park, or other creatively inspired locale.

10. Don’t allow yourself to get “bullied” into the social norm

You know those voices in your head that say “Why are you designing this way?” Creativity shouldn’t have a limit and often we as people let ourselves get bullied around by our own sub-conscience and feel we have to adhere to the status quo. Instead give yourself permission to be different and to seek creativity in any outlet that feels right for you! Freshome readers we’d loveo know how you boost your creativity each day.