When you’re tired of grunting at the gym (I’m thinking of the folks at the gym downstairs from our office), it’s time to exercise in a different way. Get your creative muscles in shape. Plugging away at your desk all day leads to tired thinking. Breaks and variety can help improve creativity. Here are some creative exercises to inspire you:
There are many different drawing exercises you can do to improve your visual acuity and spark your creativity. The book “Drawing on the Artist Within” by Betty Edwards is a great source for exercises.
Blind Contour Continuous-Line Drawing
Get out some paper and pencil and choose an object. Keep your eyes on the object and begin drawing the outline of the shapes you see. Don’t look at the paper or lift your pencil, until you’re done.
Set a timer and draw your subject for a minute or two. The goal is to loosen up and draw more freely with an expressive line. This works best standing with your paper on an easel and drawing using charcoal so you can get more freedom of movement and speed.
Do Something Else
Instead of sitting at your desk and staring at your work, try getting up and doing something else. Many creatives I’ve worked with swear by getting away from their work as the best way to get new ideas to surface. Move on to a different project, sleep on it, play a game or solve a puzzle.
Have you thought about learning a skill but been intimidated by not having enough time? If you want to learn to play the guitar or sew or practice yoga, don’t worry about how long it will take. Just dabble, you don’t have to become an expert. Variety is the spice of life.
Keep a journal of your thoughts, sketches and ideas. You can refer back to this and it will help feed your next creative thoughts. Get ideas for what to write about from this book, 365, A Daily Creativity Journal