How To Never Run Out Of Ideas As A Designer

Never be stuck for an original idea again with this system

Michelle Mac


As a designer, your value comes from the things you create. Your “job currency” is creativity.

With that said it’s hard to constantly generate ideas. There is always pressure to create a unique design that looks stunning.

Over time, this create-on-demand dynamic can cause tension. You might save your creative energy for only one or two projects, or not put your 100% into a project in the first place in case your ideas are rejected.

Both of these outcomes, I’m sure you’ll agree aren’t beneficial for you in the long run.

In this article, I’d like to share with you my idea generation process and how I never run out of ideas as a designer.

Creativity Comes In Ebbs And Flows

The first thing to mention here is that creativity comes in waves.

It’s not a constant force or presence, at least not in my experience.

Some days you can be very creative, come up with lots of great ideas, and implement your best ones.

On other days, you won’t be able to think of anything creative or worthwhile.

It’s important to realize this so you don’t put pressure on yourself to come up with ideas at the drop of a hat.​

Creativity Is A Muscle

OK, so we’ve established creativity isn’t constant. You won’t have brilliant ideas every day.

So what can you do to overcome this?

I love the idea that creativity is like a muscle.

When you run or lift weights, your muscles break down then build back up to become stronger.

The same can be said of creativity.

By establishing a regular creative practice and a time for idea generation into your week, you’ll learn to work…



Michelle Mac

The *heavily edited* ramblings of a technical writer & frontend dev. I write about creativity, design, and productivity. Start here: