Getting Started


“A blank page is no empty space. It is brimming with potential… It is a masterpiece in waiting — yours.”

-A.A. Patawaran

Now that you have registered your blog, opened your sketchbook to a blank page, put a fresh memory card into your digital camera, stretched a new canvas, or prepared whatever medium in which to work, what do you do to get started? This is often the most difficult step in the creative process. There are infinite possibilities. There may also be just as many doubts.

A few ideas for generating new work:

  • Keep a sketch book, journal, or diary and put something in it every day. You can draw, write, scribble, paint, collage your own material and add images that inspire you. When you feel stuck for ideas flip through the pages.
  • Plinky: This website generates a new writing prompt every day. You could just as easily turn these into drawing, painting, or photography prompts.
  • Make a mind map.
  • Scribble for a while. Look through your scribble and see if you can turn your scribble into a drawing.
  • Place a magazine image on a large blank paper. Fill in the rest of the page to complete the composition.
  • Go outside and throw a hula hoop (paper plates or frisbees could work too). Take photographs while standing on the spot where the hula hoop landed. Use your photographs as inspiration for a poem, short story, drawing, or painting or keep them as artwork in their own right.
  • Try drawing or writing with your left hand (right hand if you are a lefty).
  • Listen to conversations in public places. Write down a few words you hear as found poetry.
  • Check out the portfolio requirements for different art schools. Some of the them have specific prompts or categories of work that need to be included. For example, Rhode Island School of Design requires prospective students to make a drawing using both sides of the paper.

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”

-Albert Camus

photo credit: sunside via photopin cc


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