Being in a design role at a company presents interesting challenges. Pumping out interesting and unique ideas day after day can take a serious toll on one’s creativity. At some point, you hit a brick wall when it comes to new ideas, or start thinking that every idea you have is crap.

When this happens, it’s important to seek out creative 1-ups—those activities or sources of inspiration that give you renewed energy and a fresh perspective. Here are a few 1-up ideas from the Ceros design team and some other creative friends of house.

What’s your favorite creative 1-up? Let me know in the comments so our team can borrow your ideas!

7 Creative 1-Ups for Designers

“I almost always do something creative. I make music, take photos, help Simon [our CEO] with his house redesign—it’s my life. If I’m stuck on one project, I just find another outlet!”

Jack Dixon, Creative Director at Ceros

Meow Quarterly

Source: Meow Quarterly, one of Jack’s many other creative projects outside of work

“I tend to do something that’s not related at all, like go to the gym. I have to step away from everything and not think about it…. Of course, the ultimate one-up is drinking.”

Lydia Ding, Graphic Designer at Ceros

Ceros Pub

Source: The Ceros Pub, where Lydia enjoys a Friday evening drink with the team

“I bounce ideas off of my partner [at Without Raisins] and follow people on Instagram so I’m seeing stuff I like that’s similar to our style.”

Lauren Ward, artist at Without Raisins and Graphic Designer at Ceros

Without Raisins

Source: Without Raisins, Lauren’s web comic

“For work, I go to Muzli and Awwwards, then browse around for examples of what i might be doing. For life, I go see movies or listen to music.”

Nasa Ikeda, Graphic Designer at Ceros


Source: Awwwards, one of Nasa’s go-to sources of design inspiration

“When feeling uninspired, I try to take a break from what I’m doing and get away from my desk. I’ll take a walk around the block, grab a coffee or tea and come back with a refreshed set of eyes. Oftentimes, asking my design co-workers for feedback gives me enough creativity to unblock myself. If I’m truly stuck on something, it may require a longer break—an activity like yoga or rock climbing usually helps to clear the fog from my brain.”

Gabriela Lawrowska, Product Designer at Schoology

Brooklyn Boulders

Source: Brooklyn Boulders, one of Gabi’s favorite places for a creative recharge

“I usually just go for a walk, but I also go on dribbble all the time for inspiration.”

Brian Clancy, Graphic Designer at Booker


Source: dribbble, one of Brian’s favorite creative inspiration sources

“When I’m stuck on a design problem, I usually walk away from it and focus on something completely different. I’ll read an article, listen to music and doodle, or move onto another ‘easy to cross off the to-do list’ task. Even taking a walk and getting away from the computer can clear my head and help me be more creative.”

Tarynne Lopez, Lead Designer at Maven Clinic

Spotify Playlist

Source: Spotify, Tarynne’s go-to resource for doodling jams

Header image source: Random Wallpapers