4 Exercises for Boosting Your Creative Energy

Use these exercises from creativity guru Robin Landa for a variety of projects—logos, book jackets, posters, brochures. Let them inspire you to try other things.

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Create a Visual Metaphor or Analogy

Think of a metaphor or analogy for your client’s product. Use visuals of the metaphor or analogy instead of images of the product. The point of this exercise is to seduce the viewers, not hit them over the head with what the client’s selling.

Examples:

1. To show that all people can’t be nurtured the same way, make a visual analogy to the care of different plants.
2. To show how rough certain materials can be, use cacti as a metaphor for something scratchy and rough.

Make a Sound

Attribute (the illusion of) sound to a word, composition or visual. The point of this exercise is to demonstrate that visual art can appeal to our other senses.

Examples: 

1. Choose an onomatopoeic word, like “hiss” or “cluck.” Design it so the word imitates the sound or action it refers to.
2. Take a visual and make it seem as if sound is emanating from it.

Fabricate

Combine found objects to express a theme like life or death. The point of this exercise is to realize that many ways exist to create a visual.

Examples:

1. Find different printed materials, like wrapping paper or magazine and newspaper pages, and create a collage depicting birth.
2. Go to a junkyard or flea market and find different objects related to a theme. Combine them into a 3D illustration and photograph it.

Make a Visual Comparison

Compare opposite things side by side, like a desert and a lake. Or compare similar things, like velvet and fur. The point of this exercise is to re-examine the time-honored visual device of comparison.

Examples:

1. Compare close-up photographs of textures like linen and lamb’s wool.
2. Compare Victorian architecture to a Baroque church.

 

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