Do you sometimes feel like you could be more artistic but you don’t know where to start? Feel like you’re at your creative end? You’re not. You might be stressed and you’re stressing out even more because you want to create, but you will overcome stagnation. Here are some ideas on how to get there:
***with all of these, sketch like you’re going to wake up. that is, treat your drawings as something fantastical and nonsensical but don’t get too attached***
- Take some color pencils and markers and put it on a piece of paper. Test the aesthetic ability of each utensil. Play around with the textures, thickness, and point pressure. Scribble. Blend. Change the pace of your line. Be abstract. Why? When you try this, you see what colors you think are attractive and what colors you want to see next to each other; you’ll want to see certain colors drawn with certain lines, and you’ll want certain textures to create certain styles.
- Sketch a scene from a written text (preferably not rendered by someone else). Thinking about one scene that evokes a lot of emotion from you can be highly inspiring. Draw it abstractly. Focus on your favorite detail. Create the environment you imagined while reading a particular line. Get inspiration from a poem, a book, a saying– anything! Guarantee you’ll come up with imagery only you can envision. Why? People who want to express creativity are sometimes stumped by the idea that they cannot create something original. Taking inspiration from a different genre of creativity and showing that you can add something to it because your perspective is unique to you, gives you a sense of your own creative genius.
- Recreate a still from a movie, a TV show, or a music video. Really focus on how the image captures a dynamic moment. Pay attention to the mood and the lighting. Sketch it like you only have an impression of the scene and you were the one who pitched it to the producers. Why? Because recreating an image you admire from something that was meant to be seen for a split second/moment gives you insight as to what aesthetic decisions captivated you in the first place.
- Draw a simple object and call it by another name. Make your drawing a diagram and have lines pointing at different parts and name those parts with random nouns or adjectives made into nouns (ie “the squiggly”). Think ad-lib. Go back to the drawing and change the part to look like the random word you chose. Why? You’re used to seeing things in one way and by one definition, but if you use words and pictures in unorthodox ways, you get to see things in a totally different light.
- Mix and match animal body parts to form one magnificent creature. Play around with texture, patterns, size, and color; apply them to different areas of the creature. Why? Textures and size are usually forgotten about when you’re in a creative dry spell, so this exercise gives you the opportunity to mess around with this. Also, animals have so much variety that juxtaposing different aspects is bound to give you something creative that comes from your unique understanding of the world.
- Draw a stick figure the size of your fingernail on a piece of paper. Imagine it as someone you esteem/love. You can embellish or individualize the stick figure, but the important part is that the stick figure exists. Draw an environment around your stick figure, basing it on a place you wanted to take that person. Surreal or realistic, the environment should have background and foreground and an atmosphere that plays off how you feel about whoever the stick figure represents. Why? Because personal fantasies involving others is a powerful drive to create and they’re hard to get out of your head. If you ever feel distracted from your creativity and can’t think of what inspires, this exercise gives it a dose of inspiration that’ll never lose it’s appeal.
- Remember any strange dreams you had last night? Talk to anyone who vividly recalls whatever thoughts paired together during the night? Take inspiration from it. Dreams are one of those places we cannot show other people, but have to describe for others to understand. So, describe your dreams in a drawing. Why? Because 1: it’s therapeutic; 2: if you’re worried that you’re stuck in a rut, the bizarre or provocative imagery in your dreams is you at your most free-flowing. It’s a transcription that only you were able to view– a program that only you watched, and if you can show that in a drawing, your originality shines through.