Are you asking about creativity in coming up with graphic design ideas, or are you asking about how to be more creative in general?
If you are looking to be more creative in general, you might already be more creative than you know. Creativity is like a muscle that get stronger the more you work it, but also gets tired. You might already be spending your creativity elsewhere in life such as on a hobby, or a crisis. By the time you get around to doing graphics, you might be mentally exhausted. Sometimes you just need a break. Sometimes you just need to research the client’s problem, but don’t try to solve it immediately after research. The problem needs time to “incubate” in your subconscious while you are deliberately trying to take your conscious mind off it. That’s why most creative people get their best ideas while relaxing somewhere away from the work place.
If it’s more specifically about graphic design, consider the type of clients and the unique problems that come with marketing the type of product or service that you are representing in the graphic design. Every product, service, and industry is unique in it’s own way. Marketing should be the secondary skill of every graphic designer.
If you do a lot of B2C (business-to-consumer) work, you can get plenty of creative ideas just by looking at every bit of graphic design every where you go. Packaging, menus, vehicle wraps, tattoos, look at all of it. When it comes time to think of an idea, you just fuse together a mix of things you’ve already seen.
If you do a lot of B2B (business-to-business) work, it’s more about understanding the client’s client. Most of the B2B clients have communication problems that we should consider before we start thinking about graphics. Often B2B clients don’t tell us much about their clients because they don’t think it’s important that we know. They don’t think of us as marketers. They don’t think we understand business as well as we often do. If we don’t think to ask, we are stuck trying to guess what their client might want. That causes creative blocks.
If you have a mix of both B2B and B2C clients, you should not try the same approach with B2B as you use on B2C. B2C is more about appealing to emotions, while B2B is more about appealing to intellect. B2B clients don’t usually care about aesthetics as much as B2C clients, but some B2B clients want to overdo aesthetics as if they are B2C.
Either way, it’s about creative problem-solving. But we need to know the problem first. The more unique the problem, the more unique and creative the solution will be. Think of yourself as a communication problem-solver first, and a decorator second. When you are in decoration mode, try not to think too deeply about whether or not the decoration is aesthetically pleasing. It’s usually subjective. Instead think about what message the decoration sends. That’s a little more objective.