Creativity Call to Action

In my art classes, we talk often about “cultivating creativity” for people who are pursuing creative lives and careers and how we keep it fresh.  How to keep the “blocks” away, etc.  This is the worksheet I use to introduce students to the concept of “keeping creativity alive.”  Feel free to add ideas in the comments.


Ms. Gaylor’s Advanced Art Classes

Fall Intersession Homework

Read some books!


  1. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  2. Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland
  3. The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
  4. Life, Paint and Passion by Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley (my personal favorite)
  5. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  6. Journal Fodder 365 by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler (really nice guys, they let me leaf through their personal journals…)
  7. Or any book on “art process” or creativity, etc.
  8. Google, google, google some journal / sketchbook pages.  There are so many wonderful ideas out there…
  9. Or, etc.

I read:


Draw or doodle everyday!

Check off the days that you did it!

Week of 9/22

 Sun  Mon  Tues  Wed  Th Fri Sat

Week of 9/29

Sun  Mon  Tues  Wed  Th  Fri  Sat

Now / Also – do something else creative everyday (write, cook, blog, photograph, etc.)

Week of 9/22

 Sun Mon Tues  Wed Th Fri Sat

Week of 9/29

Sun Mon  Tues Wed  Th  Fri Sat

(Bring these to school after the break to show me.)


Da Vinci Sketches NEW THINGS TO TRY

(Tricks to keep the creativity alive.)

Do at least 10, if not more!

  • Paint with tea or coffee.

  • Put a clean piece of paper on the floor and walk all over it with dirty shoes. Now create an art piece with it.

  • Cook something you have never cooked.

  • Look up how to meditate and give it a try.   How long did you do it for?

  1. Date______ Min._____
  2. Date______ Min._____
  3. Date______ Min._____
  4. Add more as needed…
  • Eat something you have never eaten.  How was it? Rate it 1-5.

  1. Date______ Yummy Score_____
  2. Date______ Yummy Score_____
  3. Date______ Yummy Score_____
  4. Add more as needed…
  • Go somewhere public and talk to a stranger for at least 3 minutes. How was it?

  • While out in public draw something / someone. (Bring to school.)

  • Draw something that you have never drawn that you think would be really hard. (Bring to school.)

  • Brainstorm in your sketchbook:

  1. Paintings to paint _____
  2. Drawing to draw _____
  3. Sculptures to sculpt _____
  4. Books to read _____
  5. Books to write _____
  6. Characters to create _____
  7. Things to cook _____
  8. Things to sew or make _____
  9. Things to blog _____
  10. Things to photograph _____
  11. Places to visit _____
  • Rearrange your room and make a dedicated “art-doing” space (you could clean it too?). Take pic’s for class.

  • Daydream.  Write them in your sketchbook.

  1. Date______ Dream__________________________
  1. Date______ Dream__________________________
  1. Date______ Dream__________________________
  1. Date______ Dream__________________________
  1. Date______ Dream__________________________
  • Make lists in your sketchbook or journal.

  1. Date______ List____________________________
  1. Date______ List____________________________
  1. Date______ List____________________________
  1. Date______ List____________________________
  • Quote something and draw/paint/sculpt a piece to go with it.

  • Allow yourself time for deep practice and immersion (no judging)

  1. Date ______ Practice type _________________________
  2. Date ______ Practice type _________________________
  3. Date ______ Practice type _________________________
  4. Date ______ Practice type  _________________________
  • “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” Henry David Thoreau.

    Fail dismally at something.  Then write about what it taught you…

  1. Date_____ What ________________________
  1. Date_____ What ________________________
  1. Date_____ What ________________________
  1. Date_____ What ________________________
  • Create a quote log in your sketchbook of art, inspirational, creativity, etc. quotes.

  • Cut out things that inspire, excite, speak to you, etc. and glue, tape, or staple into your sketchbook. Draw or write next to them if you are so inspired to do so.

  • Combine / juxtapose two items from this entire list to create an unexpected connection that speaks to you.

  • Take walks, this opens up the right side of the brain.

  1. Date _______
  2. Date _______
  3. Date _______
  4. Date _______
  5. Date _______
  • Work while standing. Create an art wall to tack things on and to work at…) Google some ideas. Brings pic’s to class.

  • Single task / Do not multi-task. (Studies show that our most creative people in the world live by this activity and the brain functions at an optimal level.) This means to do 1 thing and only 1 thing at a time.

  1. Date_____ What _______________ Rate _____________
  1. Date_____ What _______________ Rate _____________
  1. Date_____ What _______________ Rate _____________
  1. Date_____ What _______________ Rate _____________
  1. Date_____ What _______________ Rate _____________
  • Create an art / creative habit. (i.e. Everyday I will draw one quick thing within 5 minutes at 3:00 pm.)  Check off it you did it…

Week of 9/22

 Sun  Mon  Tues Wed Th  Fri Sat

Week of 9/29

 Sun  Mon  Tues Wed  Th  Fri  Sat
  • Do an art project this way:

  1. Start an art idea / project that has been in your head for a while. Make sure it is something in which you have worked out every detail.
  2. Begin it.
  3. Now, let that idea go.
  4. Continue the piece letting it lead the way….

Are you happy with it? __________________

Why or why not? __________________________________________

  • Don’t forget: “You are youer than you.” Dr. Seuss  Foster your “youness” as an artist.  What is your style? Or What do you want it to be?  Create a style page of inspirational ideas / pictures / drawings, etc.

  • “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” Dr. Seuss  Create a non-sensical page in your sketchbook. Bring to class.

  • Simplicity frees up the mind to be creative. Get rid of your clutter (mental, physical, emotional, persons, etc.) Write or draw about the experience.

  • Stir it up.

  1. Leave your comfort zones.
  2. Pick 3 ideas from your sketchbook and combine / juxtapose them in a weird way.
  3. Look up Surrealism.
  4. Look up Cubism.
  5. Look up Dadaism.
  6. Look up Fauvism.
  7. Look up Art Nouveau.
  8. Look up Graffiti Art.
  9. Look up Lyco Art.
  10. Look up Les Nabis.
  11. Look up Expressionism.
  12. Look up Action Art.

Try one of them.

  • Free write.

  • Do the same project in 3 different mediums and 3 different sizes.

  • Draw like a child.

  • Create a blackout poem.

  • Recreate / copy a masterpiece.

  • Make a nine-step value scale out of newspaper collage.

  • Do something that you think of…Da Vinci Sketches

Creativity Call to Action by Monica Gaylor.

Sketchbook pages by Leonardo Da Vinci.

2 thoughts on “Creativity Call to Action

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s