Professional Development Tips | 7 Tips for Creative Blocks

Read on for 7 Tips for Creative Blocks.

There are tips to ‘unblock’ (overcome) a creative block – and other tips to avoid it occurring in the first place.


If using as part of an English for Creative Careers Class plan

Ask the students what tips they would expect to read in this blog 

Creative blocks can strike any creative.

The (unfortunate) truth is that inspiration is unreliable and dependent on many factors.

Professional Development Tips | 7 Tips for Creative Blocks


Blocks can last days, weeks and years.

While they have ended countless careers, there ARE positive exercises and changes you can make to prevent them/deal with them when they occur.

Whether that means ‘unblocking’ them or finding productivity despite them is up to you.


messy artist studio for blog on creative blocks

Take A Shortcut

For a shortcut in overcoming a creative block, take our Amplify Creative Challengeit’s sure to get you working differently! 

A Tip for Early Career Creatives

At Art School, you may have learned ways of dealing with creative blocks, but it is also likely you did not have any.

This is because this educational environment is creatively stimulating and saturating.

In many ways, your creativity is managed and optimised.

Because of this, it’s not unusual to hit a creative block upon graduating from Art School.

If that occurs, it’s a case of getting stimulation and discipline into your practice autonomously.

These 7 Tips for Creative Blocks will help! 



    Tip 1: Use a Different Pen

    All too often we try to be creative in the same way.

    We don’t realise that we have fallen into a rut.

    Swap pencil cases with a friend.

    Pick up a thicker pen than normal.

    If you are a writer, try working on a different surface or notebook.

    A musician? Change instrument.

    This tiny change means it’s no longer about how you can make work like you used to, it is about giving you something to discover, experiment and play with.


    Tip 2: Set a Timer

    Remember Art School when there were warm-up sketching exercises?

    They made you work rapidly and move around the room.

    Those quick exercises made creating and mark-making feel urgent and heighten your responsiveness.

    As an arts graduate responsible for your own time, you need to mimic exercises like this to keep your production flowing.

    Daily sketchbook work is amazing for this.

    Don’t wait until you have a block, this will help prevent you from getting blocked!


    Tip 3: Go for a Walk

    Plenty of people tell us to take regular walks in nature –

    The reasons are fairly obvious and generally, it is good practice.

    However, if you are within your own head a little too much, another option is to put tunes into your ears through headphones and explore a city.

    Cities are energising, adventure-filled places.

    Go exploring.

    Imagine that you are a photographer for a travel magazine.

    Take photos.

    Think of words to describe what you are looking at.

    Look for all the signs of creative life around you. 

    Do not try to turn these into artworks or creative output.
    Just file them away in your memory bank for later.

    street art in Glasgow - inspirational

    Tip 4: Quit Procrastinating Over Difficult Tasks

    Your creative block may be due to your brain energy fretting over issues external to your studio practice.

    We all have stuff we hate doing and put off.

    However, we don’t FORGET that we have put it off.

    Parts of our brain are still anxious about the task – and that negativity is toxic.

    Take a full day to deal with the lurking to-do list, and then enter your studio space with a happy heart tomorrow.


    Tip 5: Change Scene

    If you have a dedicated studio space or workspace, it is easy to associate creative blocks with that space.

    Don’t dread the space ever.

    If it doesn’t feel good to be in there, go and work somewhere else.

    Sketch people in a cafe.

    Draw exhibits in a museum.

    If your workspace is a room in your house, take over a different space for a while.

    (Notice if you work best around people or alone, and find an appropriate public or private space).

    street art in Glasgow - inspirational

    Tip 6: Chat with a Friend

    No, not about your block.

    About anything else!

    Conversation fills your mind. With friends, it should relax you, and stimulate you.

    Chatting with friends is fuel to your creative mind in immeasurable ways.

    You show up as you, you remind yourself who you are (and were).

    Share food. It’s a tonic!

    sharing a curry

    Tip 7: Get Random

    Sometimes unblocking is just about finding something new to make art about.

    Here’s a practical exercise.

    Choose 5 words which you feel are important to your creative practice.

    Put these words into

    What conversations are thrown up? Spend time falling down this rabbit hole until you find an idea which excites you.

    About English for Creative Careers

    Blue Noun Language Hub help international artists and designers by developing L2 English skills with practical art-making exercises.

    This builds a deep connection with English, which is with them throughout their creative career.

    You can sample what it’s like to work with us by taking the £99 Amplify challenge. 

    Further Information


    This video has great language content and tips for overcoming creative blocks.


    If you are stuck on your Social Media Content, read our LinkedIn Tips.

    If you need drawing inspiration, this blog about Simulating Life Drawing could help.