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.

2 comments:

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.
~Faith

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 http://donnakallner.blogspot.com/p/creativity-phd.html