Do you enjoy creating?
Are you an illustrator, a graphic design specialist, or a photographer who loves to see ideas come to life?
If so, you've probably experienced a few slumps. Even the most innovative people need new inspiration from time to time. Ready to ignite a fresh perspective for your projects?
Here are some creative exercises that may spark your next fantastic idea.
4 Design Catalysts to Inspire Your Imagination
Loosen your turtleneck pullover and host an art night with friends.
If you create for a living, what better way to connect with your inner muse than to host a no-holds-barred, imaginative free-for-all with your best pals?
Tell guests to dress for a mess and drag out your paints, beads, clay, stamps, ink, and more. Remind people to leave the perfectionist self at home and have fun with the process. After all, some of the best art is spontaneous.
Takeaway: Creating things with friends reminds us that art is fun, and beauty can arise from unexpected sources.
Build and broaden your artistic muscle by doing icon reps.
Choose an icon (like a sun, heart, leaf, crest, or set of cherries) and create 25 thumbnail icons that depict its message and its meaning. If that's too easy, try 50 or 100.
Start with basic sketches and transition into graphic design or large-scale renderings. As you build variations, try different shadings, color combinations, or typographic elements to stretch your normal design boundaries.
Takeaway: Forcing yourself to sketch the same thing in different ways can build and broaden your artistic muscle.
The next time you work on a concept, fill a full page with icon sketch versions of it before you settle on your design of choice. Begin with quantity and finish with quality!
Identify your core audience and ask yourself what subject would best connect with these viewers.
Then, brainstorm ways to feature the perfect person doing the ideal activity in perfect circumstances.
How can you best capture the age, gender, or appearance of this "perfect" individual? Experiment with collages, photos, silhouettes, stick figures, or only body parts (such as the hand, eye, or mouth).
Takeaway: Featuring the wrong people in your piece (or possibly the right people in the wrong atmosphere) can tank your design.
In contrast, a piece that features the right people in the right way can befriend viewers and make them extremely receptive to your product or message.
Tend your roots by asking yourself: "Why did I become a Creative in the first place?"
Make a list of passions and interests that led you to this stage in your journey. Then, cultivate these roots through revisiting some of the places or people who inspired you in the past.
Takeaway: Neglecting your creative soul apart from your professional commitments puts your growth as a person at risk. Nurture your nature, and momentum will freely flow in all that you do.
The Human-to-Human Connection
While many designers have a free spirit, often professionals end up spending a great deal of time alone.
However, much of our success in design is rooted in human-to-human connections. The connections you make will have a massive impact on how you see the world and what you create in response. So connect with others, connect with yourself, and have fun with your next best design.