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So much has been happening in the world in the last few months that it might feel like we haven’t yet caught a break. A day of rest might seem like a luxury of the past or we might be struggling to generate ideas with the constant stream of worries swirling around in our heads.

With this in mind, we’re going to give ourselves some time to rest and extend the deadline for our #KTIllustrates contest to February 5, 2021. 

One of the key components of creative thinking is being able to allow the mind to digest and reflect on a problem long enough for the subconscious to come up with an innovative solution. The brain needs time to make the connections between seemingly irrelevant information and give us the “Aha!” moment that we so often need.

This is why taking a walk or listening to music is a great activity to help us destress and allow our brains to work. Sometimes using a new tool or working on a short project (like the prompt for #KTIllustrates) can also help stir around those ideas we’ve been stewing on for our other larger projects.

But if you need some other ideas on how to reframe your brain, try these strategies:

Take a Nap. Yes, we mean it. Go ahead and give yourself the time to shut your eyes. You don’t even have to fall asleep. Shutting out the stimulation of visuals for ten minutes, especially for visual creatives, can be extremely refreshing.

Build a Puzzle. Work the logical side of your brain without doing math! The beauty of table puzzles is that you can go at your own speed. No need to rush and it can be a great bonding experience with other family members who might be in need of a little rest too.

Read a Book. Sometimes as visual artists we get swept away by the more colorful and energetic mediums of animation and film. While binging on your favorite show is a great way to “rest,” reading a book that is either in a different genre or category than you work in (say an adult non-fiction novel vs. picture books) can also trigger some bright new ideas we might never have come across. It also has the added benefit of requiring our minds to conjure the images relayed through a non-visual medium.

Work on the Prompt! While #KTIllustrates is a contest, we want to encourage anyone and everyone to give illustrating it a try. The prompt for the contest is:

“If your heels are nimble and light, you may get there by candle-light…”

Again, the #KTIllustrates contest deadline has been extended to February 5, 2021. If you have any questions about the submission process, please see our contest page.

Here’s to some rest and rejuvenation to give us a strong and creative new year!

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