Creative Prompts for Art Projects During Social Distancing

Artwork Archive | March 23, 2020 (Updated April 12, 2021)

Times are calling for us to find new ways for connection & creativity.

To help slow the spread of Coronavirus, we are spending more time inside, perhaps without studios and without our normal creativity communities. During this time of isolation, we can come together to bridge the social distance through community and art.

That’s why we are starting the #artuniteschallenge with new artistic prompts each day. You can do them all, pick and choose, or simply share what you are creating right now during social distancing. Let’s spread creativity and cultivate community through art.

Show us what you are doing to stay creative and connected by tagging @artworkarchive on Instagram and using the hashtag #artuniteschallenge. We will share your picture in our story and spread art throughout our community. 


Creative prompts to spark creativity during social distancing


Go on a virtual museum tour. Select your favorite work and recreate it in a different style


Write "joy" or "gratitude" in the middle of a page and draw three things that bring you small joys or moments of gratitude during this time.


Follow Monet’s lead, do a drawing of the same building or view at different times of the day.


Make stamps from unusual household items and use them to make a printed pattern or use a household item as a paintbrush (old toothbrush, rag, etc) to make an artwork. 


Create a coloring book page and share it here for others to use. Or, print out one of these coloring pages and complete them. 


Create doodle cards to send to family and friends—and include one for your mailman.  Postal service employees are still delivering, leave a goodie for them in your mailbox. 


Have you been staring at someone for too long? Partner? Housemate? Dog? Sketch their face. Be nice.


Dealing with new emotions during this time? Create an abstract drawing or painting to express that emotion. 


Channel your Andy Goldsworthy: go on a nature walk, find outdoor inspiration or unconventional materials to start a new work. 


Create a calming collage: cut out images that make you feel calm and put them together


Puppets aren’t just for kids. Puppets are friends. Create a new friend to keep you company in isolation. 


Ask a friend or family member for a one-word prompt every hour throughout the day. Sketch and send them each creation for increased inspiration and connectivity.


Create one mini painting, drawing, etc. in your medium each day to document this time. 


We all need some relaxation and time to breathe right now. Turn on some calming music and do a free-flowing drawing or painting exercise to the music. Do not censor yourself.


We all need some relaxation and time to breathe right now. Turn on some calming music and do a free-flowing drawing or painting exercise to the music. Do not censor yourself.


Repurpose trash and junk mail as project material to make a sculpture or collage. 


Share the love: repost five images of artwork from your favorite artist friends


Pick a color or material you normally avoid and use it in excess.


Write a letter to your future self.


Try painting with coffee, espresso, wine, or other non-traditional liquids.


Reading more books lately? Recreate a scene or moment. 


Toilet paper hoarder challenge: use your empty rolls to create a sculpture.


Make a stress ball out of a balloon, illustrate with sharpie, fill with flour, squeeze away.


Try your hand at creating natural dyes (avocado pits, tea, coffee are all natural dyes you might have laying around).


Make a cup of tea and paint with your tea leaves.


Reading more books lately? Recreate a scene or moment. 


Tune-up your senses. List four things you saw and four things you heard. Do a 2-minute doodle.


Think of one person that might be having a hard time right now. Create something to make them happy. 


Think of one person that might be having a hard time right now. Create something to make them happy. 


Post a photo of your most peaceful artwork (think tranquil landscapes, plein air sunsets, etc)


Get a big piece of paper or poster board and make art to hang in your windows to create an outdoor gallery for people taking their daily walks in the neighborhood. Or, join the #Shareyourstirckynoteart challenge created by Barbara Januszkiewicz and share your art with neighbors that way!



Daily prompts to keep your art business running effectively



Identify a few "art-business allies" to keep during this time. Staying connected to positive, proactive artists during this time can help create a productive and supportive virtual environment.


Host a virtual studio visit or critique with your art-business allies.


Re-visit your artistic statement, bio, resume and CV.


Organize your art materials and/or studio, post before and after photos


Define what impact you want to leave with your art. What do you want your legacy to be? Write it down.


Have you been putting off organizing your digital files? Use the downtime to catalog your artworks, images and detail in Artwork Archive.


Fill out your financial goals and habits worksheets. Download the worksheets here


Get to inbox zero. Go through your emails, respond to any forgotten threads, and update your contact lists.  


Change up your marketing calendar, adapting to a more online time.


Complete step one of inventorying your artwork. Photograph all your current and past artworks. 


Plan for the future: check out deadlines for opportunities in the future and make a calendar of application dates (find opportunities in this guide).


Share your creations using the hashtag #artuniteschallenge

Let us know how you're keeping creative, building community and maintaining your art business by tagging us in your photos at @artworkarchive on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #artuniteschallenge.

Use these prompts as a jumping-off point, or complete them all. 

While artists may be used to long hours in solitude, it is still a time where our new normals are shifting. Let's use our creativity to stay at home, inspire new projects, and cultivate new connections and communities. 


Have an idea for a creative or art business prompt? Let us know in the comments below.



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