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12 tips for beating creative block

You’ve got a brief. You want to come up with that big idea to blow everyone’s socks off, right? But how are you going to get there? Starting is the hardest bit. Then there's the carrying on bit, that can be a little tricky too. And that all comes before the committing and following through part. Don't panic. These 12 tried-and-tested tips from New Blood Pencil winners will help get you started, and keep you going right until your deadline.

Beat Creative Block

1. Read the brief, re-read the brief.

Get somebody else to read the brief to you and then completely strip it apart to work out exactly what it’s asking for. While you’re developing, keep going back to the brief to make sure you’re still answering all the key points.

2. Go all out.

You can't half-do a brief. Try not to second guess what the judges want, just get out of your head and get out of your comfort zone. 

3. Do what you want to do.

Sure, respect the brief, but if there’s something you really want to try, an idea you really like, then go for it. 

4. Observe and stick to facts.

Before jumping headlong into something based on what you think you know, take things apart.

5. The challenge is how to get a unique idea.

Your idea might be thought of by other people, even if they live miles away. Make your answer as different as possible, and push it.

6. Don’t over-complicate the idea.

Once you've had your eureka moment, try not to over think things. Start taking it to the next level, testing and making stuff as soon as possible.

7. Be ruthless.

It’s nothing personal, so be very, very willing to let ideas go if they're just not working.

8. Don’t jump the gun.

When it comes to your idea, sleep on it, look at it again in a few days. Make sure it's still crystal clear and still gets you super pumped. Then just have fun with it, if you're enjoying what you're doing, it will come across in your execution.

9. Sum up your idea in a sentence.

You'll realise where the holes are if you can’t.

10. Watch ten case study videos back-to-back then try and remember anything from them.

Think about having to watch 300 of the buggers. They’re nearly all the same, same soundtrack, colour palette, style etc. Even if your idea is incredible, if your video is the same as everyone else’s you’ve lost them from the start. In the first ten seconds, make them sit up and listen, then keep throwing in things to keep their attention.

11. Don't settle.

If something could do with a bit more finesse, if there's an element that's just not working hard enough, or you're not sure those line breaks look right – fix it. This is your chance to shine, so don't settle for an idea that's less than sparkly.

12. Never back down.

The New Blood Awards briefs are unlike any you'll work on in your career – they're an opportunity for completely unshackled creativity. That's because you don't have anyone limiting your ideas with boring things like budgets, so make the most of it and do what you believe in.

And there you have it. A 12-step process to keep you focused on your quest for creative glory. Click below to discover more, and to get working on the New Blood Awards

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