MailChimp UX Issue 24 - Unstuck

Breaking through when stuck.

As always a great read from the MailChimp newsletter. The article tackles the problem every creative person stumbles upon sometime in their career. The dreaded "I'm stuck," when inspiration is lacking, and not sure what to do or tackle next is inevitable. This can be both in one's career and in their design. The post offers solutions to getting around these blocks. The article references artist Chuck Close and his process of making restrictions to spark his creativity.  I remember studying Chuck Close in my modern art classes, and learning about his detailed process of painting portraits.

"I threw away my tools. I chose to do things I had no facility with. The choice not to do something is in a funny way more positive than the choice to do something. If you impose a limit to not do something you've done before, it will push you to where you've never gone before."

—Chuck Close

"Limitations can be liberating. When anything is possible, the starting point is too nebulous to find. Impose limitations on your creative process and watch yourself gain momentum more quickly."

The two paths of the creative thought process as mentioned in the article;

"Depending on how and where you learned your craft, the process could range from three nebulous stages (Ideate, Incubate, Evaluate; or Germinate, Assimilate, Complete) to seven concrete steps (1. Define the problem, 2. Determine the objectives…)."

Using the correct method, and or combination of methods seems to be the ideal scenario. Just starting the series of steps will get a person unstuck. You may not come to the immediate solution, but the process will put you on the path of the solution. Add the above mentioned constraints to the process and limit or constrain the scope of the project, or the tools being used will aid in finding the final solution. Sometime a project may seem overbearing or too broad to understand where to start. Just the act of getting something started, and restraining to a main goal will allow for the creative process to take hold. Something I should work on taking into my own practice as to restrain to focus. Getting started on the problem and the creative process will find the solution.

The article has a lot of great links, and resources and I recommend reading over the entire article.

Jeremy NeumannComment