This is not a unique feeling, but I was definitely in a state of shock when I left undergraduate school and began working as a professional graphic designer. My creative process took on a completely different form–one that now prioritized producing a refined project in a 9 to 5 time constraint, versus letting the creative process flow more naturally. Dylan C. Lathrop captures this in a quote from his GOOD article: One is Not Enough: Why Creative People Need Multiple Outlets, “I get engrossed in my work too, of course, but that activates a different part of my brain, one that prioritizes success through creation instead of the process of being.

I think this became a subconscious motivation to go back to school. I did not realize it at the time, but now that I have the opportunity to go through the creative process in a more fluid way, I have been able to recognize how significant it is to the way I work. Lathrop mirrors this feeling: “drawing on every surface imaginable has helped define who I am and my understanding of the world—and allows me to inform that world, shape it, and make it something imaginative and delightful.” To fuel this need, I have been able to re-establish the roots of why I ever got interested in art–sketching and building to transform my ideas into a physical form. For our most recent Design Sprint, we used wire framing and paper prototyping to fabricate our idea for a mobile application. By closing our computers and working through the exercise of sketching, it helped us to better understand the various scenarios of how the user could interact with the app. The less refined nature of the final product reduced the pressure and provided for a more creative and considered user experience.

If you find yourself in a creativity rut I highly recommend closing your computer, picking up a pencil and just start doodling on the closest surface available!