Have you noticed how creative prompts seem to be popping around the internet ? I see them all around Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.
Chances are, if you’re like I was before beginning my creative journey, you don’t know what the hell you’re supposed to do with them.
What is a creative prompt?
It is an idea, a picture, a quote, a poem or a song that is meant to inspire you, a « coup de pouce » that is intended to help you start something personal.
If you don’t come from a creative background, you might be tempted to treat the prompt like a test, trying to figure out the right answer.
But there is no right or wrong answer with a creative prompt.
For example, two weeks ago, I published Order and Creativity, illustrated with a picture of my erasers neatly organised.
I would never have thought of such an article if I wasn’t responding to a creative prompt. In this case, the prompt translated into a blog article.
Answers can go in all directions. It really depends on who’s responding.
Check the prompt response page and you’ll see that everyone came up with a different proposition.
So, how to work with a creative prompt?
Best case scenario, the prompt sets your imagination on fire and inspiration is flowing like water out of the tab.
Rush to your work table and work these creative juices to your advantage.
Other case scenario, you feel like creating but the idea generating department of your brain is going MIA.
Don’t give up just yet. Try a methodic approach.
1/ make a list of everything that comes to your mind in relation with the prompt
2/ mind mapping works too
3/ sit back and spot your favorite association/ideas. Don’t second guess yourself, just go with the flow
4/ lightly sketch/ plot your ideas
Don’t go into details yet.
Play around with your ideas and figure out what gives the best result.
When you’ve settled for an idea that appeals the most to you, try to refine it a little bit, adding details.
5/ It’s time for research.
Feed your idea. Give it flesh and bones.
6/ Once your project looks good to you, go go go and only stop when you’re done.
Try not to put « perfection » pressure on your shoulders.
When working with a prompt, the process is more important than the result.
Breathe. Dive In. Enjoy.