Take it easy
• A little creative pressure is good, but total panic is rarely productive — there’s a reason they call it ‘blind panic’. If your pulse is racing but your mind has stalled, step away from the computer.
“Remove yourself completely from the situation and try to relax doing another activity for as long as your deadline will allow,” says freelance illustrator Ria (www.uberpup.com).
It’s ok to be lame
• It’s easy to become reluctant even about jotting down ideas in case they’re rubbish. Let go of that fear — what are you scared of?
It’s fine to have a weak idea or two, as long as you spot that it’s not great and your client or never sees it. Something you think of as a lame concept could prove the springboard to something brilliant.
Think outside the box
• If the way you’re approaching the project doesn’t work, change it. Can’t get the topic for your next illustration fixed? Try picking a colour palette, song, even a shape — and working from there.
Yee Ting Kuit
Doodle and daydream
• Just letting your pen go where the spirit takes you is liberating, particularly if you’ve been fruitlessly glued to your screen for so long you’re developing a tan.
“I make a brew and, rather than stress out about being stuck for ideas, I do a bit of freestyle doodling, along with some word association,” says freelance illustrator Yee Ting Kuit (www.yeellustration.co.uk).
Off the beaten track
• Hunt for inspiration in unexpected places: try technical catalogues, historical art books, science magazines — anything as long as you’re out of your comfort zone and opening your mind to new styles and ideas.
Yee Ting Kuit recommends backing off from that tense-all-over feeling with a cuppa and some doodling.