Art Exercises to Stir Creativity

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Mon May 03 2021

Stuck on what to create or looking for ways to challenge yourself creatively? Look no further! We’ve put together some some cool and spunky art exercises to challenge your artistic self. Try out some of these trends, techniques, and exercises to see what happens!

Spilling Coffee

The only time spilling your coffee is a good thing

Coffee Art by Maria Aristidou

There are really only two steps to this one:

  1. Spill Coffee
  2. Go Nuts

You can try a couple of things to achieve some cool art. You can try tracing out the outline of the spill and turning it into something (kinda like how you can make clouds into shapes and things). You can also use the coffee spill as a background for another completely different piece. With a completely different outcome with every pour, this experimental exercise is great to let loose and see what happens!

Mini Canvas Collage

Your own mini gallery

You can really shift the guidelines of this idea. The gist is:

  1. Get numerous small canvases/sticky notes/small cuts of paper
  2. Set a timer that goes off every 15/30 seconds (or whatever time you want)
  3. Don’t think, just create!

In the end, you’ll have a collection of mini pieces that can fit together as a larger piece, a collage, a mini gallery, or whatever you want. The point is to not think and just draw whatever. Overthinking tends to lead to potential roadblocks. It’s similar to writer’s block, where a way to overcome it is by writing and not thinking about mistakes or logic. There’s time to be the writer, and time to be the editor, but not both at the same time.

Seeing Double

A fun take on the classic symmetric butterfly from kindergarten

A symmetric painting collection by my roommate and I (Available on The Cubby!)

This one has a similar feel to the coffee spill, except instead of spilling coffee, you can take two canvases, pieces of paper, or fold a piece of paper (I mean you can try folding a canvas in half) with dripped paint to creative symmetric squished art. From there, you can let the paint dry and use that as a base for a creation, landscape, or anything you want. If the fold works well enough, that right there can be your art! It’s a great way to try out art styles where you’re not in complete control of what will happen!

Change Your Canvas

Art doesn’t just belong on paper

Sometimes it just takes a new perspective for new creations. Instead of trying to change your technique or common style of art, try creating on new, uncommon places. Some examples can be on a:

  • Leaf
  • Box
  • Cup
  • Paper Towel Roll
  • Door (if you have a door in your house you can use)

Look around you. The world is your canvas to innovate and spread passion, creativity, and uniqueness. Don’t let limitations hold you back from achieving greatness, or finding new ways of doing things. Hopefully these tips and exercises help you find new ways of doing what you love!

Anthony Speros • Northeastern '22
Heyo my name's Anthony and my license says I'm 5'10" Feel free to check out my art!... Read More on Anthony's Cubby
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