We all get stuck sometimes. I’ve started to list out and develop strategies I use or want to use to generate more inspiration in my creative life. Feel free to share your own!
(1) Select an element or principle of art (Elements: line, shape, form, color, texture, space, value; Principles: Movement, Emphasis, Unity, Harmony, Variety, Balance, Contrast, Proportion, Pattern, Rhythm).
Look around your home or travel somewhere outdoors or to a public building like a mall. Spend an hour conducting a scavenger hunt looking for that single element or principle in the space around you. Photograph or draw your findings.
(2) Carry a random object around with you for one week. Consider the object’s journey as you carry it everywhere. Place it in situations that clearly contrast its nature. Photograph it, draw it, or write story shorts based on the object’s travels.
example: I have students conduct an object study where they must present a single object in 4 different ways using 4 different media.
One student selected a pineapple and literally carried it with her around school and town. She captured photographs, drawings and paintings that lent the pineapple a personality much like Wilson in the film Castaway!
She also made an amazing sculpture inspired from the object. I’ve seen writers play with this idea too.
(3) Have a sketchbook or journal with you everyday. Fill one page everyday, regardless of interest, motivation, ideas. Just fill it.
example: My post here shows my journey investigating this idea.
(4) Go through a magazine and cut out all of the images and words that appeal to you. Now try to make a collage with these random pieces. Does it tell a story?
(5) Find an artist in your field that inspires you. Analyze their work. (Reminder on how to analyze art here.) Can you use their strategies in your work?
(6) Review an old work you haven’t worked on for ages. Spend an hour reviewing and revamping it.
(7) Make a list of all the creative ideas you have to see if you have actually followed through on all of them. Maybe it will generate some new ideas that excite you as well!
(8) Meet up with a creative spirit like yourself and have each of you bring a project you feel stuck on. Spend 30 minutes or so reviewing your friend’s work. Come up with ideas for their project, then share ideas with one another!
(9) Go for a walk. Do some yoga. Bake. It really does help to get your mind off of your art!
(10) Research competitions online. Perhaps some guidelines and restrictions may help you frame your next big idea.
Becoming Artist Strong: Do you have motivational, creativity generating strategies? Share them below!
I love reading your posts – helpful and inspiring.
Thank you so much Sarah!
You’re posts are always inspiring, but this one really hits the nail on the head for me, or hits the pencil on the sketchbook:). Exactly what I needed!
Louisa I’m so glad it could help.
1. Have someone put an object in a box then close it so you can’t see what’s inside. Task = to draw sight unseen, what you imagine could be in the box. When finished, take object out and add a drawing of the real object to your first drawing, and put in a relevant background to tell a story.
2. Draw your right hand with your right hand.
3. Draw a person’s face with the picture of the face being upside down. You can do it free hand or using matching grids.
4. Using a photo of Somers painting, copy the subject matter, but change the colours to their complemetsries.
Great ideas Owen – thank you for contributing.