5 Reasons to Take A Break From Creative Projects

5 Reasons to Take A Break From Creative Projects

Creatives often find it hard to know when to take a break. Thanks to fast-paced digital media we’re conditioned to believe that we’re not doing enough if we’re not working our socks off 24/7. We’re prone to comparing ourselves to others who seem more successful, productive and happy. But even those people need breaks from time to time, and chances are they’re successful and productive because they know when to give themselves a rest. Breaks are important for a number of good reasons and burnout is real. If left unchecked, it can be dangerous to our mental and physical health.

I took a big break from work and social media over the last couple of weeks. I had to step away and allow myself to unwind, remember that relaxing is good and catch up with a few things I wasn’t able to do while working on my business and building my social profiles. I’m making this a regular pattern going forward; as soon as I notice the signs, I’ll step back. And I’m OK with that.

But I wasn’t always OK with it and it has taken me time to understand that it’s perfectly healthy to stop working, stop being socially present online, and understand that my world will not collapse as a result (in fact, it should result in me coming back more energised, productive and focused!).

Below you will find five reasons to take a break, plus a few ways to spot early signs that you might need to take a step back.

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Interview: How to Find Design Clients During a Lockdown

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Creative Market isn’t just a venue for beautiful design resources. They also host a blog packed full of useful design and business tips, advice and information. I was recently approached to take part in one of their thought leadership blog posts: How to Find Design Clients During a Lockdown. The article is now live on the site and I highly recommend reading it if you’re a small business.

In the article, frequent Creative Market blog writer Marc Schenker interviews shop owners to discuss how to get clients and keep your business rolling during adverse circumstances. Many of us are still experiencing partial lockdown, on furlough from our day jobs, or unemployed because of COVID-19. There’s so much uncertainty about the future and this hasn’t only impacted the creative industries, but all industries. Find out how different businesses (including mine) are coping with these changes:

If you enjoy the article, why not check out some of these other insightful Creative Market blog posts:

Remote Design at Creative Market: How We Do It. An insight into how CM are continuing to run the site during COVID-19.

How to Create Your Brand’s Social Media Aesthetic – Useful if you’re just starting out, and features links to invaluable resources.

How to Start a Graphic Design Business in 2020: Entrepreneurs Share Advice. A goldmine of tips and advice from some great designers and companies.

Five Foolproof Steps to Score More Freelance Graphic Design Jobs. Another great article for new designers or small businesses or anyone looking to expand.

10 Files Every Designer Has & Could Start Selling Today. An excellent article if you’re thinking of setting up your own business selling creative assets or services.

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Why I Love Vectors and Why You Should Use Them

Why I Love Vectors

This post contains Affiliate Links. This means that I earn a small commission if you purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my Affiliate Policy to find out more.

Vectors feature in almost all of my products, and while I use them every day for my work I forget that many people might not know what they are, why I champion them and the many amazing ways they can be used.

I’ve only been working with vectors for the last three years; before that I’d never touched Adobe Illustrator and worked exclusively in raster format (.jpg, .png) using Photoshop. It wasn’t until I got an in-house graphic design job where Illustrator was mandatory that I learned how to create vectors and finally understood how efficient and useful they are.

Why Vectors?

Vector artwork relies on mathematical curves, points and lines (or paths) to create polygons and due to its nature it can be scaled up or down indefinitely without losing quality or clarity. This makes it an ideal option for displaying graphics at different sizes across a range of media, from computer screens and mobile devices to flyers and massive billboards. Vectors give you crisp, clean lines rather than pixelated or jagged images.

The other cool thing about them is they allow you to easily edit things like colour and line thickness, and when a vector is made up of many different components you can rearrange the composition with minimal hassle.

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6 Creative Projects You Can Do At Home + Inspiration

6 Creative Projects You Can Do At Home

The wonderful thing about being creative is that there are many things you can do even if you have a small to non-existent budget. With everything that’s happening in the world right now, a lot of us find ourselves isolating at home with more time on our hands than normal. If you’ve only ever dipped your toe into creative projects but you want to get more hands on, now is a great time to do it. I’ve put together this post full of ideas, resources and inspiration to (hopefully) kick-start your creativity!

Just to note: because I’m mainly a digital artist a lot of my creative work involves a computer, although for this list I’ve tried to include a few physical activities you can do at home even with limited supplies. The key to this post is that you have choices and nothing is ridiculously expensive or difficult to access.

So without further ado, here are 6 creative projects you can do at home on a small-to-zero budget.

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How to Create Product Preview Images that Drive Sales

Product Previews That Drive Sales

This post contains Affiliate Links. This means that I earn a small commission if you purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my Affiliate Policy to find out more.

Ever wondered how some people create gorgeous product preview images? If you’re a creative solopreneur or small business that designs and sells end products, you might already know how important it is to have high-quality previews that engage your potential customers. If not, or if you’ve been struggling with your product previews, this post is for you.

Product preview images are your one chance at a great first impression. Most customers won’t consider buying a product if they can’t at least see what it is or how it can benefit them.

Unfortunately, I have some experience in this area. I’ve released products that have strong previews and I’ve released product previews that I’ve rushed. And let me tell you, the difference is real. One will compel your potential customers to click through and find out more about your product or service. The other will likely mean you’ll have to re-make the previews at some point down the line – a time-consuming and unnecessary task that could have been avoided (hey, we live and learn!).

I’m going to attempt to demystify mock-ups and suggest where you can find quality mock-up resources. I’ll also argue why investing in your product previews is best practise for your business in the long run.

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Illustrations and Design Resources | Welcome!

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Hi there, I’m Jen, an illustrator and graphic designer based in the UK. This is my website where you’ll find illustrations and design resources made to help you boost your creativity. I will also run giveaways and tutorials in the future so feel free to subscribe to my blog or newsletter. 😊

About Me

Early in my career I would spend hours scouring the internet for design resources that I could use to enhance my work, so I understand how important it is to find assets that are high-quality, easy to use and comprehensive. I love creating graphics and resources that others can use in their own projects and I always pay careful attention to detail and try to pack my products full of value. Customer satisfaction is important to me and I want you to feel happy, confident and inspired when you use my resources.

As for me, I started running my own design business over ten years ago, designing websites, brochures, flyers and business cards for local companies and individuals. In 2019 I pivoted my brand to align with my real passion: creating beautiful illustrations and design resources and drawing the things that I love. As a kid I was into creating art so my work very much mirrors my life-long passion – which is the best kind of work!

Although I run my own side business, I also work full-time as an in-house Graphic Designer for a major global workwear brand, and on top of that I’m currently studying a part-time Master’s degree in Graphic Design (because learning is soul-food), so as you can imagine I’m a busy bee – but a happy one! 🐝

I’m also very active on Instagram and I love meeting fellow creatives. Come and say hi: @j.oliver.designs.