A technique I like to use to get myself to move work forward is the creative sprint.
Most times, this comes from working towards an exterior deadline–a show, a fair, a promised delivery date.
But many times if I simply re-frame my working questions to be something like, “How many pieces can I create in an hour?” or “I have 20 pieces of paper to use this round: GO.”
These time-sensitive questions (like external deadlines), help me to shed the fussiness that comes with feeling stuck, and returns me to the process. I sprint to the finish, and move the work forward.
This isn’t the only way to change the question, of course. A deadline (whether external or self-imposed) is the narrowing of of time, but is It could be the medium you choose, a color range, or a size.It could be something more abstract–a challenge to yourself to create something that suits a really difficult-to please person. Or maybe it’s supposed to be thought-provoking. The parameters could even be economic–only let the piece cost so much money (or time) to create.
Example: the holiday season forces people to create on a deadline, but also for a really specific purpose–gifting. A gift usually comes with a particular range of economic values, which defines the amount of time I spend and the mediums I use. It also helps me to look at my work and determine what the essential elements of what a good, engaging print is.
And so the beauty of creative sprinting is that you can use in such a variety of ways; I use it for both my commercial work and personal work. It helps me to meet deadlines, to make decisions without agonizing too much, and to work through a rut or block.
I hereby declare my love for the creative sprint.