Food for thought

Design and illustration are often portrayed as desk work, and good service as being available on-demand. So in what's both Creativity and Wellbeing Week and Mental Health Awareness Week, I’ve been thinking about the value of a screen break.

The best design tutors I’ve taught with have a lot to say about input. Creative minds need feeding. Visual libraries need filling. Assumptions need challenging. So they encourage students to get out and about.

That’s important for creative professionals too.

For me, getting away from a desk is good for creative problem-solving. It’s a handy palate-cleanser between one kind of work and the next. Spotting stories and noting them down in my sketchbook exercises the rapid observational skills I use in my location sketching.

Sometimes it contributes to the work – the sketches here were me checking in on two places where I’ll be drawing live in June.

But it’s also refreshment, whether visual, discovery, creative experimentation or simply getting outdoors and taking a breather. That brings me back to my work with fresh ideas, new energy and a different perspective.