Crushing Creative Block

This year we kicked off by showing that creative block whose boss. Over the holidays you can be time poor and your creative exports can fall by the wayside.

For the session we just did some simple things that encourage freedom and experimentation and try to push past the pressure of perfection and for me particularly, I can find it difficult to create without specific purpose. I guess that’s the designer in me!

In the beautiful setting of Roco Creative Coop we sat down and let go of stress and pressure and made some ‘useless’ art. I thought I’d share some of the things we did incase you wanted to give them a whirl!



This is something pinched from Tim Brown’s ‘Tales of Creativity‘ TED talk. His talk is about the importance of play. During the talk he asks people to turn over a page and gives them a set time to transform the circles into something else. This task can be a struggle but it makes a wonderful point, it makes it clear the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to create something ‘good’ instead of being free.

‘…one of the things we tend to do as adults, again, is we edit things. We stop ourselves from doing things. We self-edit as we’re having ideas.

And in some cases, our desire to be original is actually a form of editing. And that actually isn’t necessarily really playful. So that ability just to go for it and explore lots of things, even if they don’t seem that different from each other, is actually something that kids do well, and it is a form of play.’ 

                                                        – Serious Play 2008 · Filmed May 2008 · 27:58

2 & 3. Finish the Sketch & Make the Shape


I clumped theses two together as they are pretty similar. Finish the sketch pages started life as just outlines of scenes and Make the shape pages started as painted shapes. The task is then to basically just fill in the outline and add outline to the shape. In doing this, the pressure of perfect has been removed as the pages already has marks on it. It also needs you to be creative to solve the problem that is an unfinished image.

4. Collage Haiku


For this task we picked three words from a bag of cut out words from magazine and placed them into a line of the haiku. Haiku’s are traditionally about nature, but we skipped that rule to make it a bit easier. The restrictive nature of the 5,7,5 syllable poem and the already picked out words allow you to be a bit silly and push you to be more innovative. This was my favourite tasks! The above I can’t take credit for unfortunately, it made me giggle.

I hope some of those give you some ideas, I’d love to see your creations if you use any! I’ll try to upload some shapes and outline for you to download!



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