One of the tools that helps me boost my productivity is starting my studio day with a 10- to 15-minute creativity warm-up. In most of my classes, I use a starting ritual or exercise to get students revved up. I’d gotten lazy about doing them on my own, but I’m back on the program now. Here’s the warm-up I used yesterday:
- Double Doodle. Spend a minute or two double-doodling on a large sheet of paper (I use recycled blueprints). Double-doodling is done with a marker held in each hand. I use two different colors. Try to vary your movements so one hand does not always mirror the other, and so that your hands sometimes cross the center line of your body.
- Quick Collage. After doodling, do a quick collage on the paper. I keep a stack of pages torn from magazines for this purpose. Just grab a few sheets from the pile, pick a couple, tear them into pieces, and start gluing them down with a glue stick. Remember, this is just a warm-up exercise so don’t overthink it or try to make it “be” anything. Set a timer, if necessary, to limit yourself to about 5 minutes for this part of the warm-up.
- Harvest A Crop. After gluing down collage elements, it's time to see what you can harvest from this exercise. You’ll need a cropping tool, which you can make from two L-shaped pieces of white poster board. Move the cropping tool around on the collage. Things will look very different within that white frame. Select something, cut it out, and glue the crop in your sketchbook.