In Case You Need Some Creative Inspiration

by Nina Meehan

The start of a creative journey can happen at any second. It’s just about diving in and starting something new. But sometimes, getting started can feel incredibly daunting. We stop ourselves from trying new creative modalities because of fear of not being “good” or looking silly in front of our kids. Yet, research suggests that trying new things can have incredible benefits including: improved memory, increased adaptability and better mood.

A new creative activity could fit into a lot of different categories from music to visual art to crafting to baking. Recently, I decided to learn how to paint with gouache. To be clear, I don’t have a huge background in painting of any kind, but I have found that every time I play with a new medium, I learn something about myself as a creator and it opens up curiosity and respect for artists who work in that medium or discipline. In the case of gouache, I was inspired because I learned that the original Disney animators who handpainted the movie “The Jungle Book” had used that medium and I have always been drawn into the richness and vibrancy of the colors used in that film. Bottom line, I don’t have to be an expert or a professional to benefit from playing with something new. 

It’s lovely to say “try something new” but without inspiration, it can feel nearly impossible. So, here are some ideas that might inspire your creative self and/or your creative family. Look at these prompts and just notice if anything comes to mind or sparks your interest. It doesn’t have to be literal, but just something that inspires you to make a connection. And then ask yourself, with this theme or idea, what kind of creative activity would you like to try for the first time? Poetry? Crochet? Oil Pastels? Crayon on Newspaper?

  • Shadow and Light
  • Bridge Over Nothingness
  • What’s at the End of the Rainbow?
  • Rhythms of Nature
  • Dragons vs. Unicorns
  • Your Tropical Island Awaits

If none of these strike your fancy, try opening up any book to a random page and see what are the first three words that catch your eye. Then use those words as inspiration to just make something…anything! Have fun and create!

Nina Meehan is a Creativity Consultant and Speaker.