40+ Creative Ways To Spark Your Creativity
I’m sure you’ve been there, too. You fiiiiiinally have time to sit down and crank out the masterpieces, yet your muse has taken a hiatus and you’re left with the sound of crickets in your mind where fruitful ideas should be.
Fear not my friend, for I’ve got a remedy! Here you’ll find some weird, out of the box, creative ideas to stay creative, and some not so out of the box but still pretty awesome ideas that will give your muse her groove back. Don’t miss the last one!
- Go outside. Observe the world around you.
The more you see and learn about the world around you, the more ideas you’ll come up with. While outside, write/draw/paint what you see.
- Do a free writing exercise.
Set a timer for 20 minutes (or 21, if you want to get wild) and write whatever comes to mind. Seriously, whatever it is, write it down! Can’t come up with anything? Write about not being able to come up with anything! Chances are, once you put pen to paper the words will start-a flowin’.
- Put a notebook in your purse.
Okay, this one’s not thaaaat creative. But it’s important to have one so you’ll be armed and ready for when inspiration strikes.
- Take a break.
Forcing creativity may actually hinder it. It’s like your brain being all “NO, I don’t wanna!” So just give it a juice box and let it chill for a while.
- Make random lists.
Go crazy with it, make up weird band or DJ names or a list of your favorite animals/colors/places/foods, etc. Make a list of your least favorite words or words you want to use on your next blog post or book but you don’t really know what they mean, like alacrity (= brisk and cheerful readiness*) or ailurophile (=cat lover*).
*Source: my laptop’s dictionary app.
- Think of uncommon ideas.
Write them down, you may have something there! Thinking of using strawberries to paint a picture of strawberries? Why not? Save your ideas. All of them, good or bad.
- Open a random page of a book and paint or doodle the first sentence you read.
I mean, don’t paint on the book! You know what I mean. Just illustrate what you read in the form of a doodle or painting.
- Search the thesaurus or dictionary.
Pick a word and write a paragraph/sentence based on it. Paint something inspired by the word you choose. Say you pick ailurophile: paint a loving picture of your cat.
- Make a mood board.
Pick 5 pictures that appeal to you at the moment and make a mood board with them, then create something inspired by your mood board.
- Write something from a different perspective.
If you usually write in 1st person, try 3rd person. Simple enough, right?
- Look at an old picture and recreate it in a painting.
If you’re like me and aren’t good at people painting just do some outlining (take your picture and blow it up, then use a window or lightbox to trace the outline, or freehand it) and go to town with your preferred art medium.
- Go out and do some people watching.
Pick two people then write down what you think they’re talking about. It can get pretty comical and interesting and could be the basis of your new bestselling book, who knows!
- Use a different art medium.
If you normally like to use acrylics, try watercolors or oil based paint and see what you can do with them!
- Do a study.
Pick a random number – say you pick 4 – draw or paint the same thing 4 different ways. Do a tree study or a study of your favorite flower or pick your favorite letter and draw it 4 different ways.
- If you’re a writer, write a sentence, then rephrase that sentence 4 different ways.
Or whatever number you choose, we don’t discriminate!
- Paint upside down.
I mean the painting, not you! Unless you want to try painting while doing a handstand or something. If you do that PLEASE, pretty please show me, that would be very cool!
- Clean up your workspace.
A nice, clean surface might inspire your creative muse. BONUS POINTS: have a little dance party while you clean, and maybe you’ll be inspired that way!
- Work somewhere else.
If your workspace is the dining table, move to the living room. If you normally work in your studio or office, move to the dining table. And if you reeeally want to get crazy, you can take it outside! You get the gist.
But really now, a new perspective can be refreshing. You’re also exposed to different things which feeds your muse.
- Make up a random game.
Write the rules to your game or paint a board for your game, or do both. Then tweet me @LaGoldenLetter and invite me to play your cool board game. I’ll even let you win! (Just kidding I’ll probably lose anyway)
- Make a collage.
Snip out some fine images from magazines or print them out from your computer or phone and make a cool collage of things that inspire you. You can always look back at it when you’re thirsty for some creative juice.
- Rip a photo in half.
Then proceed to glue it down on a piece of paper and complete the other half by drawing it or painting it.
- Recreate one of your old paintings or drawings.
This is also cool because you get to see a side by side “progress pic” of how you’ve improved over time.
- Go on Pinterest!
Guaranteed you’ll find inspiration there! The tricky part is not spending hours pinning EVERYTHING. (Not that I do that…not at all…)
- Imagine you’re sitting at a table with your creative idol and they’re giving you tips and ideas.
Then proceed to frantically jot down everything they are saying because you are in awe of their wisdom and coolness. But really it’s just you being wise and cool.
- Describe what you see around you and embellish your sentences as much as you can.
You see a tree? Instead of writing: “I see a tree with branches and leaves” try this: “I’ve found myself entranced by the beauty of a simple tree. With its loving arms it holds onto the leaves that will soon say farewell, falling down to become part of the Earth they came from….”
- Paint what you see around you and add colorful embellishments.
Embellish with paint as opposed to words.
- Pretend you’re giving a seminar on creativity.
Speak to your audience about how you go about creating your masterpieces.
- Use unusual tools.
For example: if you usually paint with brushes, use sponges, straws, odd-shaped items, play with textures, grab those strawberries and use them as paint!
- Choose one or two letters and write as many sentences as you can using only those letters.
Alliterate and awe at an amazing and awfully arduous activity. BOOM! (This is hard)
- Read a book, children’s book, magazine, just read!
The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more information you will have to use when creativity hatches.
- Revisit old, unfinished writings and finish them!
This is fun because you can see your progress and how you’ve changed over time just by doing this exercise!
- Take up art journaling.
I’ve been meaning to do this one myself. I doodle a lot on random pieces of paper, so maybe I should have an appointed journal for when the desire of doodling and drawing comes, I can reach for it. Seeing your past work could also help you get ideas on things to draw or paint next.
- Take up journaling in general!
Write to your heart’s content and you’re bound to get some great ideas! Again, I need to appoint a journal for this purpose because I keep finding random papers with half-written pages all over the place.
- Write a letter to someone you look up to in your field.
Tell them why you look up to them, what advice you’ve taken from them or what they’ve inspired you to do.
- Write a letter to anyone!
It doesn’t even have to be a real person, just let the words flow and let your creativity loose. If you’re so inclined, you can join me every other Friday for TGLF (The Golden Letter Fridays) where we exercise some creativity, grow our writing skills, and more!
- Look at several different photos and create a story that ties in what you see in each one of them.
This one’s kind of self explanatory.
- Make a Mandala or a Zentangle.
These activities are fantastic to release some stress + get into an almost meditative state + create gorgeous things.
- Come up with your own quotes.
I do this all the time and I have a ‘notes’ tab on my phone filled with quotes that I created. And other random pieces of paper that I find floating around my house.
- Once you’ve come up with an awesome quote, do some hand-lettered magic to transform it into a work of art.
Then snap a pic of it and upload it to Instagram and tag me @TheGoldenLetter
- Write a letter to your younger self.
This could be (and maybe will be) a whole blog post of its own. Write about what you would tell yourself when you were younger.
- Write a letter to your future self.
Dear future self, write a blog post about what you would write to your future self!
- Cook or bake something you used to eat when you were younger.
I know you might be thinking “what the hell does this have to do with getting creative? Hold your horses, we’ll get there! Well, scent is said to be the most powerful key to unlock and wipe the dust off old memories. These memories might trigger inspiration for a good story or painting. Try it out!
- Create a list of the things that you do to keep creativity coming!
And share some of them with me in the comments! I may feature YOUR creative ideas in PART 2, so make sure you leave a link to your website or blog so I can show you some love!
Thank you for taking the time to read this crazy long post, and I sincerely hope you got some good ideas to try next time you find yourself stumped. If so, pin it, tweet it, share it with your friends so we will never be at a loss for creativity again!Love,