Creativity Cards

Back of Card
Back of Card

I’m always looking for inspiration – something to help me see in a new way. A few years ago, while at an art retreat, I had the bright idea of collecting “jumping off points” from the participants. My plan was to make myself a deck of cards that I could pull from when I felt blank or stuck.

Back of Card
Back of Card

I’ve been making cards off and on. Just this morning I made about ten. I’m actually altering a real deck of cards, so the pieces are small, easy to handle, and quick to finish. Having spent years on a single quilt, I always get a kick out of something I can finish in ten minutes.

Front (Idea Side) of Card
Front (Idea Side) of Card

Front of Card
Front of Card

Here is the list of ideas I am using for my cards. They are not in any particular order. Some were donated by art buddies, some were borrowed from books, and some are my own. Maybe you will find something that makes your muse sit up and take notice.

  1. My brightest color

  2. Change dimensions

  3. Who am I?

  4. The voice in your head needs a face.

  5. Carve a stamp

  6. Dwell in radiance

  7. Use an art supply you already own – one you have never (or rarely) used

  8. Amplify a feeling. What color is it? What shape? Which animal?

  9. Remember your roots.

  10. Make a mess.

  11. Use your non-dominant hand

  12. Honor a favorite (book, person, animal, movie, flower, etc.)

  13. Wonderous light

  14. Just begin again.

  15. What does your muse look like?

  16. Use today’s junk mail.

  17. Scribble – then find the hidden pattern

  18. Let it flow.

  19. What does the angel of death look like?

  20. Draw something you see every day.

  21. Surprising interpretations of future artifacts.

  22. Design clothes for an animal.

  23. Mismatched animal parts.

  24. Face a change.

  25. Make the familiar new.

  26. Make a 1-inch square hole in a card or piece of paper. Use it to select a piece of a painting, photo, or ad. Start with this image.

  27. Work with apple green, violet, and black or silver.

  28. Acknowledge how you feel.

  29. More is more.

  30. Open your closet.

  31. Turn it on its side.

  32. Sunbeams streaming through an open window and falling on a sleeping cat.

  33. Craggy mountains, their heads wreathed in clouds, their feet planted in the earth.

  34. Waves crashing against a stoic wall of rock.

  35. Bloom.

  36. Rip compelling images from a magazine and make a collage.

  37. Paint each nail a different color.

  38. Look closely at the patterns on insects, beetles, and butterflies.

  39. Wad up a piece of striped fabric to make a flowing pattern, and go from there.

  40. “I have me a pocketful of memories.” Carl Sandburg.

  41. Myopia

  42. Victim of a kind heart

  43. Stuffed with sorrow

  44. Galloping snails

  45. Solemn summer

  46. Silly spring

  47. Watchful winter

  48. Ancient life today

  49. My worst nightmare

  50. Windows in-between

  51. Austere autumn

  52. A table fit for a king

  53. Walled in by dreams

  54. Color floor

  55. The hope of devastation

  56. Who do I want to be?

  57. Where do I want to go?

  58. Add a completely different material OR start with one you never use

  59. Found poetry (based on Julianna Coles’ method): Use a timer. Spend five minutes randomly clipping words, sentences, and phrases from a magazine. Spend ten minutes making a poem using some or all of the collected words. Don’t think or plan!

  60. Celebrate something simple, like a soda can pop-top, a staple, or a rubberband.

  61. Write a letter to your muse.

  62. Start with a poem or quote.

  63. Adult-erate a nursery rhyme.

  64. Listen to your heart.

  65. Fragile

  66. Make a tiny shrine.

  67. Write down a secret, then cover it up

  68. Color study: pick a color, take a walk, notice everything that is that color. At home, play with the list/images/color

  69. Write

  70. “If I were…” Pick an animal

  71. Depict what is in your way.

  72. Depict what you want.

  73. Use a color you hate.

  74. Clapping waves

  75. Change something in your work space, then get back to work (i.e., turn the music on or off, move beloved objects around, or sort a drawer or box)

  76. Spend $5 (or less) at the dollar store, and use what you bought as a starting point

  77. Call a friend

Back of Card
Back of Card

5 thoughts on “Creativity Cards”

  1. Hi Kit – I’m a friend of Don, Jane and Anne. Great to see your blog,
    VERY nice work. Enjoying seeing your card project and reading the
    “Armadillos in the mist” saga. Sorry ’bout that, confused it with
    another great adventure story… Great idea list in the card article!
    Obviously, with everyone in your family being such great artists you’ve
    inherited it all.

    1. What a great idea! I have lists of drawing prompts to help keep me on track with my sketching practice. After reading your post I realized that I can draw little cards to pull at random when I’m stuck for sketching ideas or make myself little oracle cards. Cool! Thanks for inspiring me. Now I have a fun project for the summer.

      1. So glad you like the idea! They were really fun to make. I have a thing about wanting to make cards; not sure where it comes from. My dream project is to make a personalized tarot deck, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

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