How To Start Your Creative Routine

About 70% of my career is all about creatives. I used to work on different creative projects in a day and everything looks great and sometimes it was so hard. Not all the time I can think of new creatives ideas for my projects because of creative block moments, but looking for inspiration helps me doing things right. That’s the reason why I need to push hard, so I can produce output that can satisfy my clients.

This blog will introduce my work routine as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Creative Director on daily basis. This work routine is different from any creatives and  I believe we have different work routines in a day. Hopefully, you can learn something from me that will help you make your own creative routine.

As A Graphic Designer

Being a Graphic Designer for more than 10 years, including my college years because I used to make graphic designs on my plates, was a kind of roller coaster.  Not all the time ideas can be effective for a specific campaign or project. There are times that we have to look for different inspiration from online portfolios, existing designs, and out-of-the-box ideas from brainstorming. Since the process of making Graphic Design is so broad and there are many methods on how to start your creative routine as a Graphic Designer. In my own perspective, I have 6 routine pointers to start making graphics design.

1.) Design Direction

Planning your design direction helps you to construct things before the magical moments happen. You have to make outlines and sketches of your graphic design – it serves as your backbone like a floor plan. Making outlines also consider as a general starter on making graphic design, so you can consider or differentiate everything once you’ve done producing graphic design. Is it much better from the outline?

2.) Mind the Color Scheme

The basic rule of graphic design is you have to consider the color scheme. Like branding, color scheme also helps to make an identity of your design, especially when you make a design for a specific brand. Also considering that time is changing and everyone is revolutionizing there works by breaking the rules of graphic design. For me, choosing the right color scheme is still appropriate and safe, but it’s still up to you.

3.) Look for Inspos

Looking for inspiration helps you innovate ideas. Making an original design is good, but stealing and tweaking other’s work is absolutely fine and awesome. I believe that there are many outstanding designs are produced from inspirations from other works. In my work routine, I have 5 to 6 design inspirations and it is very effective to come up with a new design. That’s why Pinterest really helps!

4.) Construct with Principles

Always mind the principles of design when you start making graphics design. You can read about the principles of design in my previous blog post.

5.) Make More

Making different studies can help your client choose which design is more effective for the campaign. You can make at least 3 studies in different execution of layout and elements, but don’t change the color scheme.

6.) Review Ahead

Reviewing output also helps you identify elements in wrong placement or see misspelled typeface, especially in packaging and label design. Always seek for someone to proofread your output before the submission.

Tip: Always accept revisions because it’s always part of making graphic design in the long run before the project approved.

As A Creative Director

I’m currently working as a Creative Director in a digital advertising agency in Cebu for about a year now. I’m still learning from this job to look for better solutions and directing designer’s output every day. This job is a kind challenging because it will test your judgment and criticism when it comes to design and aesthetics. My workflow became easier when I have to collaborate with ideas from my team in order to align our thoughts and ideas before we start to make designs for brands and campaigns. I consider the following pointers of giving directions for a design:

1.) Design Placement

Is it good to put this element? Design elements are very important in graphics design and campaigns. Typeface, Shapes, Colors, and Images are the elements that we can see in a design. Without it, your design is empty and lifeless. That’s why it is very important to put some elements in a blank space to tell you a story and help you visualize things. My role is to help designers to execute and place elements in the right aesthetics to make the audience feel comfortable and make the elements understandable, too.

2.) Review Fundamentals

Not all the time designers will notice the principles of design. As a creative director, you have to see over some elements that are not perfectly executed. About 60% to 80% of revisions from my end, I repetitively check all over again and advise my designers to adjust the text and element placements. That’s why I really hate to work in a publishing company because I don’t want to check text errors because it is very tiring to my eyes.

3.) Giving Advice

This job is special for me because I can give my personal advice and experience to my designers, so they can change and apply there learnings. It is a fulfillment to share something with my colleagues about my personal hardships when it comes to graphics design. This job made me feel that I am a coach. This is how I treat myself as a mentor and I let them also explore things outside without my thoughts, so they can think and find inspirations based on there feelings and desire for graphics design.

Tips: Just let them grow and help them absorb more ideas from your thoughts and from different inspirations.

As An Illustrator

I have an article about my job as an illustrator, you can find it in this blog post. As a recap, being an illustrator is commonly translating visual ideas for book covers, editorials, and movie posters. This work helps you practice your creativity by making a full design based on your thoughts and what’s on the storyline. It is the right opportunity for those who have spontaneous ideas when it comes to visualizing things from different world perspectives. So here are my preparations before I’m going to make an illustration.

1.) Your Story

What is your story? Illustration helps us understand and communicate about a story in a still frame. That’s why storytelling is important to produce an illustration.

2.) Color Palette 

Choosing the right amount of color for illustration is the easiest way to regulate your visuals without risking your storyline. The proper amount of colors will help you visualize things effectively, but it’s up to you to use multiple colors.

3.) The Fundamentals

Again, you have to consider the fundamentals of making illustrations. Color, movement, and tonal values are the important fundamentals of making artwork or design.


Creativity is not limited and you can start your own routine to make you more productive and things make easy. Always remember to stay positive and inspired. There are times that creativity is overwhelming. You have to consider that you are a human. You have mistakes and bad days, but learning to accept your mistakes will lead you to perfection. Just take a break if you want and make sure to catch up later, especially to meet your deadlines. Creativity is like a roller coaster sometimes and makes you feel things going up and down until you got it. There are many ideas waiting for you and you have to find it on your design progress as a creative. And of course, keep the passion burning!


7 thoughts on “How To Start Your Creative Routine

  1. I love how I always feel like I enrolled myself in arts and design masterclasses when I’m reading your posts, Aldrin. Thank you for sharing another wonderful piece. And yes, right back at yaaa, “keep the passion burning!” 🙂

  2. I would love to go back to doing artworks again. I used to do basic designs like creating logos and illustrations. I love collecting art materials like crayons, pens, etc. I think it’s best to do that now since I am always at home. Thank you for this article. It’s a wakeup call for me to draw and do art again.

  3. Though I am not a graphic designer, a creative director, and even an illustrator, I learned a lot of things from this post. I think most of the steps applies to any creative individual who wants to create. Thank you for these advices and congratulations on your 10 years of being an amazing creator. 🙂

Leave a Comment