How do you practice creativity?

5:12 PM, Saturday January 21st 2023

Is there a way to practice creativity towards art like you would the technical exercises in Drawabox? I've noticed my technical skills improving while studying with Drawabox, but I still find coming up with new ideas difficult. I think that the 50% rule may be a way to improve creativity, but are there any other ways to work out that part of the brain?

7 users agree
11:42 PM, Saturday January 21st 2023

In my experience, the skill you're talking about is "design". Not design in the sense of graphic design, but design in the sense of identifying the large overarching problem you're attempting to solve through the design of a given thing - a character, a prop, a vehicle, a space, etc. - and breaking it down into smaller problems (especially through the identification of those smaller problems), and ultimately using the tools at your disposal to solve it. Those tools can range from your "visual" library (a collection of visual and/or spatial information pertaining to the various objects and things you've studied from what kinds of hinges exist to achieve different kinds of mechanical motion, to motifs and patterns employed by certain cultures), to a particular combination of shapes, proportions, etc. usually referred to as shape or form language.

Each of these things can be practiced or developed. For getting used to the idea of viewing design as problem solving, give this video a watch. It's a preview for a larger course, but for the purposes of what I've explained here, the video is sufficient and the rest of the course talks about other related things. For developing your visual library, doing drawing/painting studies of a wide variety of things is the best way to absorb and process things in a way that will actually help you retain bits and pieces that you'll be able to pull out later. And the matters of form/shape language and proportion comes down to much the same (studying how other people leverage shape/proportion/etc in their own work) and experimenting with its application in your own work.

5:12 PM, Sunday January 22nd 2023

Great video and a helpful exercise. I have a related question to the original poster. Just as beginning students have misconceptions about "talent", do you think we also have misconceptions about creativity? As I am progressing, I am getting the sneaking feeling that some of the artist that I have seen are technically very good but not necessarily super creative. Maybe this is a bigger question about what is creativity.

2:49 PM, Monday January 23rd 2023

I do feel that people view creativity in a similar way to viewing talent - as something a person is born with, which it certainly is not. I had the same misguided belief when I was younger, because it seemed obvious. Not a lot of the more accessible resources really talk about how we can train our ability to develop ideas, and so rather than experiencing it as something that can be built up structurally, something where conscious strategies can be applied to yield better results, we view it as something that we just do, coming out of nowhere. I especially bought into that premise due to my aphantasia - at the very least thinking that due to my inability to visualize things as others did, that this was the reason the things I'd draw just weren't all that interesting or complex.

It wasn't until I was able to take courses at Concept Design Academy - specifically those on environment design (which ironically was really more about illustration and composition) and shape/form language (this one had a huge impact on my ability to develop my designs), that I came to understand that "creativity", "ideation", whatever you want to call it, is very much a trained skill just like any other.

1 users agree
12:17 PM, Sunday January 22nd 2023

I watched a video from Ross Draws once that I kept in mind one expression he used and made a lot of sense for me which was "build mileage" the more you draw, even simple everyday objects, is like when you are defeating monsters on an RPG and getting XP to become stronger, this video also helped me a lot!

I hope it helps you too :)

10:42 PM, Saturday January 28th 2023
edited at 1:39 PM, Jan 29th 2023

It's fun to think of learning to draw (or learning any other skill) as a video game. As you draw more and level up your skills you unlock more of your potential and can take on bigger challenges and quests. The more you do, the better you get, the more you can do! The challenges get bigger and the rewards scale accordingly. I really enjoyed this Draftsmen podcast with Flint Dille: Study Art Like You’re Playing A Video Game - Draftsmen S3E19; it set me off on the whole art-as-a-game metaphor for a while. Good stuff.

edited at 1:39 PM, Jan 29th 2023
11:03 AM, Sunday January 29th 2023

Right? I love it too! I'm going to listen to the podcast, thanks for sharing :)

1:40 PM, Sunday January 29th 2023

You're welcome.

0 users agree
11:17 PM, Saturday January 28th 2023
edited at 11:19 PM, Jan 28th 2023

Creativity is something that can be practiced, yes. It just happens to be very different from technical skills. In fact it is often a very confusing, non-linear process.

Intuition is the key here.

Take some things that inspire you, and reinterpret them in your own way. Mix them, copy them, or add shapes to them.

Draw in total freedom, forgetting about techniques. It's much harder than drawing technically. But the experience gained will help you to create amazing things.

edited at 11:19 PM, Jan 28th 2023
0 users agree
6:51 PM, Monday January 23rd 2023

I found this and I think it can help you :)

3:24 AM, Tuesday January 24th 2023

These videos have been helpful to me, thank you!

11:33 AM, Tuesday January 24th 2023

Yay, I'm happy to know that! Best of everything in your studies! :)

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something we've used ourselves, or know to be of impeccable quality. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Wescott Grid Ruler

Wescott Grid Ruler

Every now and then I'll get someone asking me about which ruler I use in my videos. It's this Wescott grid ruler that I picked up ages ago. While having a transparent grid is useful for figuring out spacing and perpendicularity, it ultimately not something that you can't achieve with any old ruler (or a piece of paper you've folded into a hard edge). Might require a little more attention, a little more focus, but you don't need a fancy tool for this.

But hey, if you want one, who am I to stop you?

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.