Sounds a bit like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But, I do think there are ways to incorporate more spontaneity into your day or creative process and for some, this may generate more ideas for your art!
Use books like Design Synectics by Nicholas Roukes to get ideas going.
Some ideas from Design Synectics include:
- draw a map of the psychological forces in your artwork (using arrows) to reflect on composition, balance, and emotional dynamics in a work
- draw or paint 50 different vertical lines to explore limitations and expression of media
- select an everyday object and make it strange through animating it, for example
If you can find an assortment of books you source for inspiration and idea generation, whenever you want to create but don’t know what to do you can flip through these books to motivate and energize yourself. Spontaneously flipping through books with lessons or images can trigger the idea you’ve been seeking.
Go on Artist Dates as celebrated and mentioned in the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Some ideas of artist dates include:
- museum visit
- read a good book on the arts
- take a class
- go for a meandering walk
The most important quality of an Artist Date is you are on your own and rewarding yourself with creative, fun activities that relax, rejuvenate and idea generate! Of course, that means you need to make time on your busy calendars! A date can last a day, an afternoon, a half hour. It is up to you to decide what suits you and your life.
Stuck on ideas?
Why not make a list of random artistic tasks that you can choose from when you are feeling blocked? Even better, you could write each idea on a notecard that you place in a box. Draw a random card when you have an artist date or are in a creative making mood to energize your creative process.
Ideas you could start off your list or box with:
- Go for a walk. Search for the color purple, something shiny and an animal (list could go on and on!)…
- Browse Etsy
- Google an art technique you have never worked with (maybe origami?) and try to create something using it
- collect a random assortment of materials and try to make a unified artwork or trial piece with it
- take silly photos of yourself or a loved one
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Make a list of resources that will aid in your creative development. When you have a free moment or need spontaneity in your life, review those resources and do something you haven’t done before! Maybe it will be the next big idea…!
It can seem counterintuitive; it reminds me of a line from the ’80s movie The Sure Thing, where the heroine says, “Spontaneity has its time and place.” But I see your point here; it’s more like an intent to go off the grid in your thinking and art. I like it.
Thanks Patrick! I find the best ideas come unexpectedly for me, when I’m working on other things so I try to find a pattern of activity or practice that can generate those unexpected surprises.