Overcoming Creative Blocks

In the advertising industry, there will be times when creatives must overcome creative blocks. However, that can be easier said than done, especially if you can’t find the right inspiration. 

Throughout the past few years as a writer/designer, I’ve faced many blank pages and empty design files. Although, that experience has given me the methods to move past my creative blocks. Expectedly, it boils down to research, but that’s too broad of a topic. Instead, I’ve separated it into three main points. 

What has the brand posted in the past? 

During my social media internship, my supervisor sent a file of all our social media content. It also had inspiration, video marketing material, and facts about our industry. Due to the folder, I gauged what the company represented and its brand voice. 

If your job doesn’t collect all their files into one folder, looking through a company’s social media will also give you a good idea of where to start. 

It is important to remember to bring a fresh perspective to these past ideas and not only copy and paste.

Get to know your industry.

No surprise, advertising creatives need to know about their industry. When I worked with Stick Teas (a tea company), I dealt with older Gen Z to Millennials. In comparison, during my time at TeleVine Therapy (speech/occupational clinic), I’ve catered to parents and an older generation. 

I’ve looked into general and niche facts about the industry. What are some of the misconceptions? Are there any similar feelings among consumers? What do professionals in the field have to say; what do they wish people knew more about? 

The internet is your oyster, so use it! 

Check out the competition’s social media.

There is no shame in checking out the competition. After all, their content creators/creatives are in the same industry as you! By utilizing these sources, you will recognize what works for other brands. 

That being said, blatantly copying another creative’s work and passing it as your own is not okay. However, no idea is entirely original. Use your resources, but be sure that it is only to start your creative process. 


If you are still going through a creative block, maybe it is time to look away from your project. As humans, we need breaks, especially in our bustling industry. The assignment will still be there when you return, and maybe you will have fresh new ideas to add! 


  1. Your tips for beating creative blocks in advertising are ON POINT! Checking a brand’s past content, knowing your industry, and peeking at the competition is straightforward but effective. I love the reminder to take breaks for a fresh perspective.

  2. Hey Desiree, I agree that seeking inspiration is the most important thing you can do on days or in moments when you feel like you don’t have the creative juice to make something you’re happy with. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to just scroll through what other creatives are making and get inspired by their ideas so that you can have that bank of inspiration to carry you through the doubts that come up in your next project. You might hit a wall in your design and then think “oh, this is how that person whose post I saw earlier handled this type of effect” or something like that.

    Using the internet is so important in our industry because our industry exists very heavily in the digital space meaning everything is archived forever for us to see and reference. It’s where we can get our inspiration, can keep up on trends, and can predict new ones.

    Thanks for putting so many of these great points into words and concepts that us creatives think about all the time! Great job!

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