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Jan 10, 2018 | 2 min read

3 Easy Exercises for Creatives to Promote Outside-the-Box Thinking

Thought Leadership

Try out these three simple drawing exercises to get those creative juices flowing.

It’s January, which means one thing: after a long, relaxing hiatus from work during the holiday season, you’re probably back at your desk, eager to put your New Year’s resolutions into action but still struggling to amp yourself up to pre-holiday levels of productivity.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to jumpstart your creativity in 2018, we’ve got three fun exercises that are sure to do the trick. Just print out our downloadable pdfs, and have at ‘em!

1. Forced Connections

For each box in this chart, draw inspiration from the image at the top of the corresponding column and the one at the beginning of the row to sketch your own illustration (see the example of the snake and lamp combo). The resulting drawing should form a connection between the two original objects. Keep going until every space is filled!

This exercise forces your brain to make visual links that you wouldn’t otherwise see. By pushing you outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be more likely to make creative connections in real life. Go forth and think outside the box.


2. Random Doodles

Take a cloud, lightbulb, sock, joystick, and flower and combine them into one object. The drawing can be something literal or more abstract. You can even alter the size and rotation of each individual element, or add entirely new elements. It’s up to you.

By processing a collection of random objects and consolidating them into a whole, you’re training your brain to take random, incoherent information and search for patterns — in other words, giving order to chaos.


3. Opposites

Each row in this chart contains two antonyms. Your challenge: illustrate the meaning of each word with a doughnut. You can use other objects to help you, but a doughnut has to be included in each box.
Not only will this make your mouth water, it’ll train you to think critically about how best to bring text to life. When preparing presentations or illustrating an argument, this ability to creatively use images to bring colleagues and clients up to speed can be a huge asset.


Want to try these exercises for yourself? Downloadable pdfs are available here.

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