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  • Writer's pictureCajvanean C. Alexandru

On Losing the Creative Flow. How to manage a Creative Block

By far one of the most discussed theme in the world of design is the creative block. I rarely encounter such a state of being nowadays but I think it has a lot to do with the philosophy and the habits I cultivated in time. But what is a block? Is it a cube? Is it a box? It definitely feels like a room without windows or doors. The witty of you might suggest to think outside the box/block during these times. But can you?

Inspiration expiration poster with cajva logo

What can you do to get out of the creative block or avoid getting into one

There are things in life we can't control. Disease, illness, war, death of loved ones, corruption and the list goes on. We are affected by our environment and shaped by our surroundings. One cannot stay the same in a world that's changing constantly. But even in the worst of times, people did creative work. Just go and read books written by war prisoners, people who survived camps and people who defied death. My point is that people will find ways of expressing and do creative work in spite of what's happening to them and around them.

Some of the artist out there believe that during only in the worse of times can one bring out quality work. There are quite a few who subscribe to this thinking. "Trauma is the best stimuli there is!" you'll hear some times. I wouldn't count on it. Should we make our life miserable only to be creative? I think those people missed the point, the artist went the creative route in order to clean the misery out of their lives and their minds.

Feeling stuck or getting yourself stuck in your creative journey is something that can be easily managed and happens more often than you care to think of. Yes, even to the people you look up to, especially to them. What can you do?


Not knowing what to do leaves your day empty but full of potential. So full of potential that you don't know where to start and by the time you decide where to start, the day is over. In the book "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work" the author Mason Currey compiled daily habits and activities of famous writers, painters, filmmakers and other creative people. All of them had a routine. Even one as simple as wake up drink coffee, write for 2 hours and then do whatever, seemed to work wonders for them.

“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods.” - Mason Currey

Bottle up creative energy

Gather up creative energy by consuming other people's work. Watch movies, go to museum, go to galleries, go to concerts or even something as simple as staying on the Pinterest and reading random poems helps. Works for me. Seeing and experiencing culture, arouse or own desire of coming up with stuff. Coming back from the cinema after watching the movie Logan I went straight to my sketchbook and did a poster as form of appreciation of how much I liked it.

Hang out with stimulating people

Creative people are fun, in fact are the most interesting and kind people I get to spend the time with. They are self aware of their issues more often than not, they see the world from a variety of different perspectives and they live life with so much more joy. Just by hanging out with them makes you excited and stimulated. Obviously, not all of them are fitting my description, please do find the right ones for you and do a list of what makes them alike. I tried, they are as different as they come.

"Creative people can stimulate creativity in others, by osmosis." - Alan Watts

Losing the flow of keeping ourselves creative

I think I speak for the majority of artists and designers when I say that keeping ourselves creative equals keeping ourselves in a state of existence that is fulfilling and meaningful. Whoa Cajva, you just solved the big question that was bothering us since the dawn of time! Boah chill, I'm mostly writing for myself in here so there is no need for perspicacity.

So how do you lose the flow?

By not doing the work. Whoa, so I'm not doing it because I'm not doing it? Exactly and once you start doing it, you will get to do it even more. Deep, I know! If at some point you stopped painting the more time will pass, it will become almost impossible to get back at it, but if you are painting on the regular, is easier to surpass the fear of the white canvas. Fear that will always linger there.

Spartans were the best warriors not because their tactic was innovative or their strategy was extremely advanced. In fact, Spartans had a simple way of fighting called phalanx formation which they practiced on the regular. The enemy knew exactly how the Spartans will fight and still lost. That's the power of keeping yourself practicing on the regular. It builds that muscle memory. Yes but the Spartans are not around anymore! As is the case with everything there was at some point in time. Don't you worry about your own downfall. If you do your thing, by the time the downfall hits, you won't even be around to witness it.

Oh and if you like Spartans, I recommend reading "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield.


How do you keep yourself creative?


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