Making something out of nothing

1 Jun

Our new co-op student asked me today “What do you do when you get a project and you don’t have any ideas?” I gave the generic answer of: experience, confidence, research and a few other industry generic responses. It’s a pretty weak response to a genuinely good question. I had never thought about it. I have thought, holy crap, I got nothing, but I haven’t thought about what my steps are that get me to the deadline on time and with ideas I am not embarrassed of.

Personally I think that fear is the first step. It’s that bit of panic that keeps me on my game. It reminds me that the latest job has to be just as good, if not better than the last. What’s important is to not let that same fear keep you from getting to work. The second part is hard to sum up. I’m not aware of any formula or routine I go through to come up with ideas. There are a ton of lists on-line for getting inspiration or overcoming designer’s block. So there’s no need for me to create another one. How about a few links for those who don’t have the time to Google on their own:

http://www.thedesigncubicle.com/2009/01/how-lists-can-help-conquer-creative-blocks/

http://freelanceswitch.com/working/34-places-to-get-design-inspiration-online-and-off/

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/10-unusual-places-to-get-design-inspiration/

And of course you can always check out other peoples’ great work:

http://adsoftheworld.com/

http://ihaveanidea.org/home.php

http://www.thecoolhunter.net/ads

I still haven’t really provided a straight answer, but in my opinion there isn’t one. Ideas are everywhere. The more places you explore, the more ideas you are sure to have.

Got something to add? Feel free to comment below.

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2 Responses to “Making something out of nothing”

  1. Mario Parise June 4, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    I would add the books “Creative Advertising” and “The Advertising Concept Book” as great resources for coming up with ideas.

    Both are premised on the notion that creativity is problem solving. So the first job is to understand the problem. Creativity comes from looking at that problem from many different angles.

    Also, I think it’s Luke Sullivan who said in “Hey Whipple!” that when searching for the big idea, you should strive to develop 100 really good ones. If you have 100 great ideas, one of them is bound to have the potential to knock it out of the park.

  2. Michael Tension June 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Thanks Mario, I missed the boat on the book shelf side of things.

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