How can small projects lead you to big ideas

No one likes creative blocks. Who even knew creative block was a thing, I really only knew ‘writer’s block’. But a tip for ya is to keep working even though you’re burnt out from working. Yes, working on smaller projects is one of the best ways for to build skill and experience. Smaller projects are effective in the creative process because it helps stimulate your noodle.

Small projects can involve:

  • Self passion projects that are short term for a week or a few days
  • Short gigs that you can finish within the week
  • Sketch/inking challenges

(no idea why all of those started with ‘s’ — has nothing to do with it I swear)

Let’s dive in a bit deeper.

To build skill

Working on smaller projects help you build on top of the skills you already have. They do say practice makes perfect. Even if you’re sketching something super simple, but if you’re doing it everyday for a week you’re already building on top of what you already know. Doing small gigs, especially ones that you can finish fast will help you learn how to speed up your process as an artist too.

While you’re at it, why not jump into doing another medium that you’re not use to or not as skilled yet.

  • Design a simple logo
  • Take out some time to do some lettering
  • Play piano and make beats
  • Draw a random fantasy character that pops up in your head
  • Sew together a small pouch
  • Grab your camera and go take pictures outside your house

Your options for small projects are endless and especially if you’re open to diving into another medium, go ahead.

Build your experience

While these smaller projects may be for yourself or for a client, the only difference is it’s on a smaller scale, it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t gain valuable experience from it. Me working as a graphic designer, I learned to work fast. Working fast did lead to it’s cons of missing typos, mistakes, or misreading information etc. but over time I’ve learned to catch a lot of the mistakes before submitting to a client.

Every opportunity, even small, is an opportunity to learn. Be hungry to learn that knowledge even if it’s something you already know. There’s always room for improvement.

Stimulate creativity

Small projects still take brain efforts in order for them to happen and get completed. By working on something short termed, you’re stimulating your brain to think. No one says you can’t stop a short project to jump to the big project that’s been stressing you out.

One of the things I do while working on big long term projects is creative breaks. During this time, I color, draw, refresh by listening to podcasts (only to grab new ideas for TCF), or something else that will still keep me thinking.

The minute I sit on the couch, it’s game over.

Small projects help me think and the point is to just never stop doing art. A lot of my big projects and their success have to thank the small ity-bity projects I did before them in order to draw inspiration.

Small projects definitely are effective for a creative to keep practicing their art. It’s also just a little break you can get from the big girl/boy things your doing as a creative, because nothing is more important than your mental health.


Always take care of yourself, be aware of how much work you’re taking on, and learn how to say no. It’s not alllllll about the money.

FEED THE HUSTLE.

Tammy

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A dog lover that wears a lot of black regardless of the weather and may or may not be obsessed with Pusheen. On an average day, you'll find Tammy either watching YouTube, making jokes, or obsessing over dogs.

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