Sound familiar? You tumble over a handful of ideas, even sketch out a few and nothing you create feels right — that is, if you can come up with something to create at all. This problem is not uncommon in the art world where you depend on your creativity day after day. This constant repetition can be mentally exhausting.
There’s good news, though: your creativity is not lost forever. You just need some way to jumpstart it. And, all it takes is some inspiration and practice at looking at things differently. That’s all creativity is, right?
That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of twenty artistic prompts that can help spark your imagination and get you back on your feet after a creative slump. Check it out:
1. Pick one subject and illustrate that thing an entirely different way every day for thirty days.
2. Repurpose trash and junk mail as project material to make a sculpture or collage.
3. Pick a color or material you normally avoid and use it.
4. Illustrate a cause or current event that you are passionate about.
5. Create something memorable from your childhood.
6. Have someone draw a random shape then complete the drawing.
7. Illustrate the same thing four times using monochromatic, complementary, achromatic, and analogous color schemes.
8. Turn a picture upside down and illustrate it that way suggests Lori McNee.
9. Practice continuous line drawings where your pencil can’t leave the paper while you draw.
10. Brainstorm a list of random phrases then create an illustration based on the phrase.
11. Cut out images from a magazine then combine those images by tone to create a new image.
12. Find a still-life subject, and using a viewfinder, draw or paint three images while zooming in closer every time.
13. Create a piece using a distorted grid.
14. Create something based off the word or phrase from this art prompt generator.
15. Try to recreate a work by your favorite artist.
16. Illustrate a scene or character from your favorite book.
17. Follow a weekly art prompt from Pinterest, like this one from the Paper Mama.
18. Go on a walk and photograph ten random things, then choose one to illustrate.
19. Create something inspired by your favorite song.
20. Illustrate an object in detail, then illustrate it two more times, making it more abstract each time.
Why try these prompts?
Creative slumps are never fun. But with these artistic prompts, you’ll have enough direction to get started until your natural creativity takes over. With any luck, they will spark some big ideas and set you on the path to your next great masterpiece.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out 7 Fun Exercises to Improve Creative Thinking.