Staying Creative While Working From Home
Wake up, roll out of bed, pour your morning coffee, and get to work! At first, working from home sounded like a dream come true. As a graphic designer I thought it would be easy to transition from working in the office to working remotely, but it has turned out to be a bit more challenging than I thought. An ad in a magazine, working on a project with a coworker, a billboard on the side of the road…I never realized that all the things that happen regularly in my “normal” life are what helps spark my creativity. After just a few days working remotely, I quickly came to the realization that I often take for granted the resources that produce the creativity that helps me complete projects. Being a month and a half into this temporary way of life, I have had to come up with my own ways to keep my creative juices flowing. Here are a few tips on how to stay creative while working from home:
Go Back to the Basics
Art can be expressed in many different ways and forms. My initial love for art started at a young age through painting and drawing. This artistic side of me has transformed from pen and paint on paper, into my work in graphic design. Whenever I am having trouble with a design digitally, I always grab my sketch book and go back to the basics with a good old pencil and an eraser! Having more time at home lately has given me an opportunity to paint and draw more than I have in years, and it has helped keep me busy and creative. It’s easy to feel uninspired when you’re stuck at home, but going back to what first made you love what you do can help you remember why you chose a creative field in the first place.
One of the hardest parts of not being in the office is not being able to collaborate and get feedback from other designers through the progress of a project. One of the most crucial parts of the design process is getting constructive criticism that will push you outside of your comfort zone and get your creativity going. Having an open concept office at 898 Marketing makes it easy to collaborate with each other and talk through projects. Luckily, we have access to so many forms of technology that we are able to stay connected through facetime, GoToMeeting, slack, screen sharing and more. Being able to talk through projects with other designers and team members can be extremely helpful, especially when you’re feeling stuck. If you’re used to working in a collaborative team environment, make sure you stay connected with your co-workers and ask for their help like you would normally.
Acquire New skills
Coming up with an idea for a project is sometimes the easy part – Figuring out a way to execute that idea can be a different story. Having peace and quiet can be helpful, especially when you need to buckle down and learn something new. I’ve used this time at home to build my skill set, and expand my knowledge and capabilities to better serve our clients. If you have some extra time on your hands, there are countless videos and tutorials out there that can help you figure out more useful ways to execute your ideas and turn a concept into a finished product.
Although all these tips are helpful, this by far is the most important tip, whether you’re in the office or at home. It’s easy to get in the habit of working all day and night when you’re working in the same environment that you’re living in, but it isn’t good for your productivity. Have you ever been working on a project for a long time and just can’t get it right? I sure have! Often, spending too much time on one project that just isn’t going your way can cause you to hit a roadblock. Do yourself a favor and step away to clear your mind for a while. Taking that time to forget about the project and decompress can help spark your creativity and make the solutions to the problem more apparent when you sit back down and get back to work.
Changing our routine and working remotely has been a challenge for everyone, but somehow we are all making it work. As I said earlier, creativity can hit at any time and any place, you may just have to look a bit harder when you’re stuck in your house. During your time at home, remember to stay connected with the people that help your creativity shine and when you’re feeling stuck, do something fun! If you have any other great tips on how you stay creative while working from home, let us know in the comments!
About the Author
Jackie DiDomenico is the Creative Design Manager at 898 Marketing. As the leader of our design team, Jackie is responsible for managing design needs for us and our clients, including logos, ads, digital and social elements, rebranding initiatives, and more. Jackie is a native of Canfield, Ohio, and a graduate of Walsh University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Graphic Design and Social and Behavioral Sciences Clinical Psychology.