What Happens When the Art Director Draws a Blank?

Opportunities to design on your own, outside of the direction of a client, art director, or agent, offers a liberating creative experience. We all dream about this type of opportunity, don’t we? Sometimes the experience is just as we imagined and then there are those other times…the ones where we are the art director and find ourselves feeling lost, overwhelmed, and the worst—unproductive. There you sit, staring down at your computer, iPad, or sketchbook, wishing it would come to life with an answer to your biggest question. What should you draw today?

Becoming-your-best-art-directorThese moments can cause you to doubt what you are meant to create and where you fit in within this vast design industry, eventually leading to the waiting game. You wait for someone to tell you what to do. You wait to be “discovered” by your dream client. You wait for someone to show you the way. There’s one word in these examples that is the hint to your solution—and that is the word “you.”

We are often our best guide, teacher, and art director. Accepting this on the surface level is easy; however, tapping into this ability is not. Often enough, it is buried deep under self-doubt and information overwhelm. And all this “guck” doesn’t go away with the snap of our fingers.

Most creatives long for a way to dig themselves out of this situation. I know I find myself in similar situations from time to time. I have found that the best way to move out of this “waiting” mode and into a creative mode is to tap into the core of my artistic style and what I love to create. You can explore the first step of the process in this video.

Over the years I have learned an important lesson. With the right information, and the right level of focus, you can remove those barriers that cause you to doubt your creative vision. Just because you work in a vast industry doesn’t mean you don’t have a fresh approach that agents, clients, and art directors are longing to see. You owe it to yourself and your passions to tap into what it takes for them to see your talents.

Where I’ve found this level of confidence to be really helpful is with the big question of “what to design each season.” Wouldn’t you love to be more confident in your decision making skills in this area? How about determining who to market your work to? The more confident you are, the more easily you know the answers to this pressing question.

You can become the art director of your brand and career. Hopefully you’re up for it. I’m here to help, and what I suggest doing first is a reflection of your own work, using this quick video exercise.

Get ready. Get set. Action!

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