Beat the Block
Everyone has felt stuck in their own ideas at some point, or in other words, faced a creative block. Anyone can experience this problem, whether they are stuck on a project for work, a school assignment, or an essay to write. Creative block is an inevitable part of the creative process, so it is important to have access to a variety of ways to overcome it.
Beat the Block is a journal that offers different sets of prompts to complete, as well as advice and motivation to help you overcome creative block. The prompts within the journal range from creating something out of a line, to working on something for 30 days straight, all quirky things to help you get thinking creatively.

BFA Graphic Design Thesis Project

Printed journals, three printed zine versions, branding, posters, social media
My Project
Creative block is described as an overwhelming feeling of being stuck in the creative process, without the ability to move forward or make anything new. This is something that I struggled with going through design school during a pandemic, so I wanted to set out a way to try and combat this feeling, which could work for both myself and others.
The overall design of the journal was carefully thought out, using doodle marks to visually represent creative block, and including more handwritten typography to make things seem a bit informal. It is meant to be simple, yet exciting to use, almost as a blank canvas with built-in inspiration.
For the final journal, I wanted to physically create it in a unique way; not just a stereotypical mass-produced type of way. So I took advantage of the laser cutter on campus, and created two different styles using pieces of acrylic (pictured below). One with a glass-looking clear acrylic, and one with a more milky white acrylic. Both pieces were measured by & cut to size, with the titles also cut out as well to really have them pop out of the page.


Throughout the year long journey of this project, I was able to learn so much about myself as both a designer, and overall creative in general​​​​​​​.
View PDF of my Process Book or keep reading!
Where This Started
Going into my thesis, I was honestly pretty scared because I had no idea what I was going to work on - let alone work on it for a year. Immediately creative block struck me, and this idea blossomed. Creative block was no stranger to me, but I knew I wanted to create some kind of interactive product that other people could use. I've always been fascinated by interactive design because to me that is the best kind of design, that people can actively participate with your design choices in a productive way. I had this crazy idea for creating a journal pretty early on, and really I just kept running with it; but the end product certainly did not happen overnight.
I did countless hours of research on what exactly creative block is, and how you can go about overcoming it. I read up on other projects that exist in the world that are going after a similar goal. Some of my favorite points of interest for this project were Keri Smith's Wreck this Journal and Pilgrim Soul's Creative Thinking Journal. While these were very fun things, neither of them really pointed to creative block specifically, or ways to overcome it they are more so silly creative things for you to do.
I knew I wanted something that would not only help me overcome creative block, but other people as well. So, I set out to gather some insight on things other people do to help them overcome creative block and I inevitably wanted to mesh these things together with what I was researching on how to overcome creative block. I started off with sending out a Miro board link for people to leave any tips/tricks they personally use when experiencing creative block, and this is where the tips/reminders come from that are featured in the book and on larger posters & stickers as well.

I wanted a way to test run things before I decided to put them into the final journal, just to see how people would respond to them (because I wanted this project to help overcome creative block, not cause it). So, I would create instructions for prompts and hang them up in our classroom building on campus in the hallway where people would casually be sitting before/after class. I did this for quite a few prompts that are featured in the book, but after I did the first couple test runs, I could easily see that people were enjoying them and responding to them quite nicely.

These responses reassured me that I was moving in the right direction and left me with the questions of how can I move this further? How can I showcase as much of this work as possible? And that's when I decided to create the Instagram for this project; @btb_np.
On this page I really wanted to showcase the responses I had been getting from people, to show all the different ways you can respond to the prompts. I also wanted to keep building upon the visual language I had been working with and molding it into a digital, social media form.
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