Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple Shapes -- A Creativity Warm-Up

Happy Presidents Day! Whether or not this is a holiday for you, it's still Monday morning -- a good time for a quick creativity warm-up. Simple Shapes is one of my favorites. It has many variations, and I'll try to share some of them with you soon. In the meantime, here's what you need:
  • Sale Flyer or Coupon Circular. Grab something colorful from the Sunday paper or recycle bin.
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Sketch Book
Here's what you do:

Cut. From areas of relatively solid color, quickly cut 4 simple shapes (these do not need to be perfect!):
  1. 2 tall skinny triangles
  2. an arc 
  3. and a circle
Shuffle. Play with these 4 shapes to find different ways you can arrange them to represent:
  1. a monster
  2. an animal
  3. a person
  4. a landscape
  5. a building

Work quickly to find as many different arrangements as you can in two or three minutes.

Glue. After you've done 5 to 7 arrangements, pick one you like and glue the elements to a fresh page in your sketchbook.

Title. Give this design a title, and write it on the page.

There it is: 5 minutes, 4 shapes, and a series of idea catalysts. This is another way of using explicit constraints to spark creativity. I know it sounds too simple to work, but try it and let me know what you think. The comment button is right below this post.


tongfengdemao said...

Coming from the Apr 20 post ~ I like this idea, too. Not sure how I'll use either, but I think they will inspire much. They are great creativity warm up exercises.

Donna Kallner... said...

Have fun with them, Faith. I like warm-ups that don't take much materials or time but get me revved up and ready to be creative. There are more at