25 Creative Ideas for Starving Artists

  1. Try painting the subject you are looking at upside down
  2. Swap light colours for dark and vice versa
  3. Paint with a fork instead of a palette knife
  4. Reverse the chord sequence of a song you like.  It is a new song?  Reverse a favourite melody and do the same.
  5. Write down the adjective that describes your five favourite smells – now apply those adjectives to a person in a story you write
  6. Think about the colour of your favourite flower.  Can you use that in a painting?
  7. If your guitar was a trombone, how would your guitar solo sound?
  8. There’s a fault with your amplifier and it crackles and splatters, distorts and howls.  How would you use that sound in a musical context?  How would you make that sound, if your amplifier was actually perfectly fine?
  9. What is the most unusual combination of musical instruments you can imagine in a single song?
  10. What are the things that make you feel the strongest emotions (positive or negative)?  Can you write a lyric or a short story or a poem about them?
  11. What is the most breathtakingly beautiful sight you have ever seen and where were you?  Can you use that as a painting subject, the scene for a play, a soundscape?
  12. Play your favourite tune or the one you wrote that just isn’t working for you yet at a different tempo or in a different key or time signature, or with more or less swing.  Does it give you a new idea for a song?
  13. If you could only take three colours, which would they be?  Make a painting with those three colours.
  14. You’ve just released a record as ground breaking and seminal as Sgt Pepper.  What was it that you put on it?
  15. Paint in the dark.  How does it turn out?
  16. Write the names of some chords on pieces of paper and draw them from a hat.  String them together in a sequence.  Is it an idea for a new song?  If not, mix them up and draw again.
  17. Imagine you cannot tell red from green or blue from purple.  Paint as though you can’t tell the difference.
  18. Choose a single colour and write a song lyric about it.  How does your favourite colour sound?  Which instruments and timbres?
  19. Which artist is the one you most admire or wish to create work most like?  Who did they most admire?  Study their sources and see if that inspires you to try something new.
  20. Paint a puddle on the canvas, reflecting the sky like a mirror.
  21. If all straight lines were curvy and all curved lines absolutely straight, draw a cat, a catherdral and a Cathar.
  22. Record random words spoken by different people or cut single words out of various conversations, using an audio editing tool like Audacity.  Now join the words up in any order or see if you can make a sentence with the fragments.  What does it sound like?  Now make a collage of images cut from others, using a tool like Paint.NET.
  23. How do you make the sound of disappointment?  How do you make the sound of escape?
  24. You need to make the sounds of some birds and animals, but you only have a guitar and a few household objects, coins, pieces of metal, etc.  How do you do it?
  25. Chain three fuzz boxes (of the same or different types) together and turn them all on.  Adjust the settings on all three until you get a sound you haven’t heard before.

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About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: https://michaeltopic.wordpress.com/. There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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