As summer begins, the free time following finals leaves a lot of room for activities (and often boredom). It’s important to keep your creative juices flowing during this four month span, whether that means getting an internship or challenging yourself to create something new everyday. Besides designing constantly, there are lots of ways to stimulate the imagination and retain an artistic frame of mind during these months away from school.
Personally, if I let go of that frame of mind for longer than a few days, I lose sight of some great potential ideas for projects and feel that I have to completely reboot my brain to get back into that mindset. I’ve suffered creative blocks plenty of times before, but less so since I have started doing daily exercises and challenges. It works wonders in keeping my ideas and thoughts fresh.
It doesn’t mean you have to design a poster, website, or logo every day if you are a graphic designer, or that you have to go out and shoot endlessly if you are a photographer- in fact, doing the same things in excess could be limiting. Branch out and try something new in an area of art you’ve had little experience with. Take an art class, or a few in any area of your choosing. Go outside and paint what you see (your house, your backyard, or somewhere you feel could make for a good composition). Read up on your favorite artist or designer and really absorb the material. Sketch everyday, whether it be mini illustrations, hand lettering, figure drawing, or anything else that comes to mind. Go to local galleries, plan a trip to a famous art museum like the Met or the MOMA, try doing some street art (or seek out street artists in nearby cities). Most importantly, have FUN with whatever you do- it’s summer!
I took a painting class by a nearby lake and it was an eye-opening experience. Blending just the right colors to show the sun glinting off the water, adding different values of grey to the shadow of the white boat in the distance, and all of the little details that went into that one painting forced me to put 100% of my knowledge of the elements and principles of design to use. Spending time doing things that keep your creativity alive and that you also enjoy can’t be beat.
Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to take creative risks, try new things, and PRACTICE constantly! You’ll be more than happy you did.