OK, yes you probably need a break after a long year. But that doesn't mean you need a 4 month break from design either! You need to keep those ideas flowing by exercising your creativity. So, how do you exercise your creativity you ask? Well, it's pretty simple. I'm going to list few things you can do on a regular basis for fun to exercise your creativity. Remember, these should be fun. So, if one particular exercise doesn't excite you, move on to the next. The point is to keep creative.
Word It: Is a web site that invites people to submit 5"x5" visual interpretations of a random word. For example, the word for May is "Here". You can submit up to five each month. I think this is a great place to start.
Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far: Is a web site by Stefan Sagmeister that is a follow up to his book "Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far". Through the web site, Stefan is collecting visual interpretations of the things YOU have learned in your life so far. You never know when these submissions or the ones from Word It may end up in a book so it's worth the effort.
Design Observer: Is a design blog maintained by industry leaders in graphic design. Many of the articles are insightful and motivating. Make it a goal to read three articles a week. Indulge yourself with a iced mocha or espresso brownie and read an article or two. You learn a lot!
Daily Monster: At the Daily Monster blog, you can download an "Open Source" monster (an ink blot) so you can create your own monsters. Do three or four a week and by the end of the summer you be surprised just how much your creativity has grown!
Obsessive Consumption: The purpose of this blog is really to sketch, and to sketch everyday. The sketches don't have to be good. The idea is to find something that you can visually explain through a sketch on a daily basis. Why not sketch out your "To Do" list instead of simply writing it? Maybe sketch what you had to eat each day. Sketch your daily activities, such as watching T.V., going to the park or meeting your friends. Do this every day and you will be visually communicating at a higher level in no time!
So, remember the summer isn't down time, it's fun creative time! You will leave all the other design students behind as they sit on the couch this summer! Keep creative and it will show in your work! Also, check back often. I'll post more fun ways to stay creative while on break. The ones above were just to get you started!