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107 ways to inspire creativity

Written by: | Published: July 23, 2012 | Updated: August 22, 2017

Creative minds don’t just feed themselves. We don’t just wake up every day with a pile of creativity gushing out of every pore. Sometimes we might wake up with a brilliant idea but even then, if we don’t write it down or tell someone, chances are that idea might drift off as the day progresses. So I was thinking – what do we need to help us stay creative? Here’s what I came up with…

107 ways to inspire creativity

from things you need, to places you go and things you do, there’s always something nearby that can be a potential creative idea starter. I’m sure there’s a ton more, so if I’ve missed something, please holler and I’ll add your ideas to the list too!

107 ways to inspire creativity

107 ways to inspire creativity

Objects, supplies and materials to inspire creativity

Having things around the house or the office to inspire your creativity can be so helpful. Sometimes just staring at something for a moment will spark an idea. How many of these items do you already own or maybe even have within arms reach right now?

  1. Scissors
  2. tape
  3. glue
  4. pencils
  5. pens
  6. crayons
  7. colored pencils
  8. paint
  9. kids water color paints
  10. stamps
  11. music
  12. movies
  13. tv
  14. nature
  15. sunshine
  16. friends
  17. phone calls
  18. books
  19. magazines
  20. websites
  21. games
  22. food
  23. recipes
  24. glitter
  25. buttons
  26. cardboard
  27. wood
  28. musical instruments
  29. chalk
  30. camera
  31. chop sticks
  32. paint brushes
  33. sewing machine
  34. newspaper
  35. calendar
  36. kids
— I could go on an on on this one, just about anything can inspire creativity if you stop and ask the questions.

Things to do to inspire creativity

Every experience we have inspires a thought and potentially an idea. The more we experience, the more ideas and views we can pull from when trying to come up with something new. Even the little day to day tasks, if done a bit different just today, can spark a new idea for tomorrow. How many of the following activities have you done or do regularly?

  1. Window shopping
  2. walking
  3. biking
  4. yoga
  5. get off your butt and move
  6. reading
  7. listening to music
  8. listening to books
  9. watching movies
  10. sitting in the sunshine
  11. people watching
  12. story telling
  13. camping
  14. roasting marshmallows
  15. cloud gazing
  16. traveling
  17. making art
  18. going to a museum, event or other activity
  19. picnicking at the park
  20. cook
  21. eat something new
  22. try something new
  23. think of trying or eating or doing something new
  24. day dream
  25. sleep, nap, rest
  26. eat breakfast
  27. call a friend
  28. write a note
  29. search Google on a topic that interests you
  30. try Googles “I feel Lucky” option and follow that path
  31. Follow recommended links from websites you already like
  32. go to the library and browse a random aisle
  33. experiment with new spices or mixing flavors you already like
  34. try a new ice cream flavor
  35. part your hair different
  36. get a new hair cut
  37. turn your favorite shirt inside out and wear it that way all day
  38. write down all the interesting comments people say for a week
  39. keep a journal
  40. keep a journal of just ideas
— again an endless list. Instead of participating and taking the experience for face value, stop and really get involved, soak it up and ask questions as you go… try that tiny taste of something new or watch your kids mix the colors to make a gross muddy brown, you never know what will be discovered from the moment you stop to try.

Words to inspire creativity

I think sometimes we get so caught up in what creativity is supposed to be, we forget what creativity really is. Here are some words you can throw into your day to help you think outside the typical bubble you might be stuck in. Use these words as a question and see what you come up with.
  1. color
  2. sound
  3. smell
  4. perspective
  5. view
  6. opinion
  7. think
  8. thoughts
  9. texture
  10. feel
  11. goal

Question starters to inspire creativity

Most often new ideas come from asking a question. Create a “problem” that needs an answer and you might come up with answers you didn’t expect. The first step is asking a question the second step is allowing yourself to explore new, maybe even ridiculous answers. Don’t ask questions that that require you to decide if something will work or not and don’t assume an idea is bad. In hindsight, I’m sure good ol’ Ben Franklin would not recommend standing out in the middle of a lightening storm with metal in his hand.

  1. What if…
  2. Did you know…
  3. What would happen…
  4. What do you think…
  5. Remember when…
  6. What did you see…
  7. What do you hear…
  8. What’s that smell…
  9. How does that taste…
  10. When…
  11. how does that feel…

Things to make and ways to organize your ideas to inspire creativity

Sometimes collecting ideas, dreams, wishes, favorites and other pieces we already like can inspire something new. Here are some ideas of things you can put together to help keep those creative juices flowing and ideas growing.

  1. A dream board
  2. A collage of ideas
  3. A doodle page
  4. A music mix (aka “mixed tape” from the 80s)
  5. A new recipe
  6. A Pinterest board (I’m adding new boards all the time)
  7. A creative ideas notebook
  8. A journal of ideas
  9. A sketchbook
There are so many ways you can help inspire creativity with yourself, your kids and others you want to create with. You don’t need to be a professional crafter nor an artist to find your creativity and discover ways to use it every day. You just need to be willing to explore new ideas and try something different.
I’d love to hear how you find creative inspiration and what fun things you’ve created! 

Need more inspiration? Here are 5 tips to Improve Creativity.

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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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5 thoughts on “107 ways to inspire creativity”

  1. I’ve saved all your creativity ideas and will put them in a notebook. I’m new to art journaling and need all the help I can get. Thank you very much!

  2. Thank you for this…. it’s a wonderful little kick start to get me goin! I’m going to start my own creative ideas notebook… using some of your prompts… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I find inviting over some friends to play in my craft cave always inspires…love how each of us has a different style and still inspire each other.


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