Creativity Prompts

Creativity prompts get your imagination and creative juices going. Creativity prompts combine elements that you may have never thought about putting together before. Creativity prompts inspire you to create. There are many websites and blogs on the internet that give creativity prompts for writers, but I did not find much for artists.

What is a creativity prompt? Pretty much anything, a thought, a picture, a word, a color, a combination of….,etc.

Today I thought I would give you some ideas for making some creativity prompts of your own. The concept is pretty simple.

First Step: (Subject) Make a list of subjects you like to draw or paint. Example: horses, roses, orchids, women, boats, water, river, flowers, old missions, children, shells, landscapes, sunset, etc. Cut out each subject individually and place in a ziploc bag labeled “subject”. Make sure that you have photographs or magazine cut outs of the subjects you list as reference material for later.

Second Step: (Elements of Art) Make a list of the elements of art with a special prompt idea. Cut each element out separate and place in ziploc bag labeled elements of art. Here is my list:

Color – Red
Color – Orange
Color – Yellow
Color – Green
Color – Blue
Color – Purple
Color – Monochromatic
Color – Analogous
Color – Primary Triad
Texture – Rough
Texture – Smooth
Texture – Soft
Texture – Shiny
Value – Light
Value – Dark
Value – Mid-value
Value – Large dark value as the background
Value – Create the subject as the darkest value in the composition
Space – Large background
Space – Small pieces of space between subject
Space – Subject has no depth, appears 2 dimensional
Form – Overlapping of objects
Form – 1 large and 2 small forms
Line – Objects will be drawn with a dark outline
Line – Use combination of curving and diagonal lines to create subject
Line – Subject is drawn with thick and thin lines
Shape – Focus on the silhouette of the subject
Shape – Repeatedly draw the shape of the subject within the composition overlapping as you go.

Third Step: (Emotions or Just Random Words) Make a list of emotions, ideas, or random words that you could use in your artwork. Cut these out and put in a separate ziploc bag labeled emotions.


Step Four: (Principles of Design): Make a list of the principles of design. Cut out and place in a separate ziploc bag labeled principles of design.


Step Five: (Get ready to create.) Clear your art space. Get your supplies ready. Set aside a block of time to work on your artwork.

Step Six: (Drawing) Draw a piece of paper from each of the four ziploc bags. You may want to draw two slips of paper from the elements of art bag to give you more variety. Take the items drawn from the bags as your creativity prompt. Create a work of art by running with the ideas.

Example: You may have picked these slips of paper:


color – purple

texture – rough

emotion – childlike

principle of design – movement

This is your creativity prompt. You will now see what you can come up with to create a work of art with all these factors.  You will have to use your imagination. You might close your eyes and see what you visualize in your minds eye. You might try to act as a child moving about as you draw brushing your pencil or paintbrush across the surface with rough strokes. I could give this prompt to 100 people and would get something totally different with each one.

So, now you have some ideas for making your own creativity prompts. If you use a different way to prompt your creativity I would love to hear your ideas. If you create artwork using my ideas, I would love to see the work and the prompt.

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6 Responses to Creativity Prompts

  1. Shalini says:

    Sounds interesting!! I can try this one.. Would like to see where it takes me!

  2. Shalini: I would love to see what you end up with. Let me know. ~Terry

  3. Christie says:

    Sounds like a very deliberate and left-brained way to approach making art — which is why I LOVE it!! Great hints for shaking someone (me?) out of a rut.

  4. Christie:

    Is it too left brained? I think of myself as being equally balanced left and right. Sometimes the left brain is so annoying though. Let me know if these hints help. ~Terry

  5. Dan Kent says:

    Cool idea – Seems like a great way not only to get an idea, but for keeping an artist from returning to the same way of doing a piece each time. Thanks.
    .-= Dan Kent´s last blog ..Birds You Can Hug =-.

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