How Can Small Projects Lead You to Bigger Ideas?

big-idea-one-having-more-value-than-lots-small-ideas-47894017 (1)

No one likes a creative block. Who even knew “creative block” was a thing? I really only knew “writer’s block.” But a tip for you is to keep working even though you’re burnt out. Yes, working on smaller projects is one way to build skills and experience. Smaller projects are effective in the creative process because they help 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
  • Sketching/inking challenges

Let’s dive in a bit deeper.

To build skills

Working on smaller projects helps you build on your current skills. They say practice makes perfect. Even if you’re sketching something super simple, you’re 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.

While you’re at it, why not jump into trying another medium you’re not used to or not skilled in 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 especially if you’re open to diving into another medium.

Build your experience

While these smaller projects may be for yourself, it doesn’t mean you won’t gain valuable experience from them. As a graphic designer, I learned to work fast. Working fast did lead to its 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, even if it’s something you already know. There’s always room for improvement.

Stimulate creativity

Small projects will still take effort from your creative noodle in order for them to happen and get completed. By working on something short term, you are stimulating your brain to think. The best thing about it is you can stop a short-term project any time to finish your bigger ones. Think of it as a small distractor, but you’re still being productive!

Small projects help me think. The overall point is just to never stop doing art. A lot of my big projects owe their success to the itty-bitty projects I did before them. Small projects give you a chance to break away from the bigger gig, allowing yourself a mental break. Nothing is more important than that.

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


About the Author
Tammy is the founder of The Creative Folks, a brand that is dedicated to providing back to the Atlanta creative community. Tammy is proud of her diverse background of work. She is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelors in Sociology, minor in Education Psychology, but has built an award-winning graphic and marketing design portfolio. She has a love for both people and dogs, with a small obsession with Pusheen the Cat. But like the average, she spends a lot of time on YouTube or Netflix, maybe too much time.