Creative constraints

Working within constraints can be very helpful for sparking inspiration. Constraints set you a problem to solve, and that gets you thinking in new way.  It can also push you to do something you didn’t know you were capable of.

I saw this xkcd comic recently:

xkcd constraints
Creative Commons license CC BY-NC 2.5

…which just about sums it up.

(I love that I can reference xkcd in an arts blog.  Here’s to all the creative scientists and scientific creatives out there; you versatile geniuses, you).

Anyway, I’m thinking about how to add constraints to my work, to create a problem that needs solving. I essentially do this anyway to some extent (the last one being the problem “what am I going to do with all this pink paint?”). But it might be nice to have a selection of inspirational tools which will set me a problem and encourage me to think along certain lines when I’m feeling a bit lost for what to do next.

Feel free to try it along with me!

Here’s just one list of prompts that came up on Google:

On a whim, I also googled “random colour generator”. Yep, that’s totally a thing. So now I can easily set myself a few constraints. My next canvas will be on the theme of a random word from the above prompt list, and include three randomly generated colours. Let’s see what my next project will be…

Theme: Letter
Colours: Dark Violet, Dodger Blue, Dark Red

Hmm, that’s almost too easy.  But let’s see where it takes me.  I will report back soon.



Featured image adapted from on Pexels, CC0 license


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