Creativity, as with other aspects of your brain and body, will improve with practice and exercise drills. Here are 3 creativity workout drills to get you started today. To get the most out of these drills, you will want to have paper, a notebook, a sketchbook, or a journal and a pen or pencil with which to write and draw.
1. The RANDOM BRAINSTORM drill…select a book or magazine from your stash and open it to a random page. Close your eyes and select a word, phrase or image. Use that word, phrase or image as a prompt to brainstorm/free-associate by writing anything that comes to your mind easily as a result of the prompt. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes. This drill encourages you to write freely without censorship, which promotes your creative ability by permitting you to make associations to concepts or notions you would not have made if you overthought a prompt. Repeat this drill as often as you like.
2. The TOPSY-TURVY drill…select an image or object from any source. Turn it upside-down or in any direction other than its original standard position. Close your eyes for a few seconds before your study the image or object in its new orientation. Describe what you see. It is fun to look at things upside down or sideways to see if you see anything new or different. Now, try drawing what you see. Do this slowly and deliberately, but do not worry about being precise or perfect. This drill trains your brain to look at things differently. Repeat this drill as often as you like.
3. The NOMENCLATURE drill…in this exercise you get to make up your own words. The best way to start this drill is to take two similarly defined words and merge them. Example: fantastic and fabulous = FANTABULOUS. Gossip columnists do this with celebrity couple names; remember BENNIFER was used whenever Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez stepped out together as a couple. After merging 2 words, try merging 3 words together to make new words. This drill develops your skills to synthesize, which is a quality of creativity. Repeat this drill as often as you like.
Feel free to modify these exercises to fit the materials you have on hand. As long as you are doing some form of brainstorming/free-association; looking at things differently; and synthesizing new terms; then, you are stretching your creativity muscles. The more you do these drills, the easier it will be for you to be more creative, imaginative, and inventive. Most of all, have fun with these drills. I will post more creativity-building exercises in future articles, so check back soon.
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