anna brones

writer + artist

Archive for the ‘Creative Prompts’ Category

2022 Words for Creating and Being: February

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New month, new prompts. 

This is the second month of 2022 Words for Creating and Being (here are the ones from January). As opposed to last year when I made more specific prompts, a single word offers a little more room for interpretation. They can be for drawing, for writing, or simply for contemplating.

Let the word sit with you for the day. Say it out loud, feel it on your tongue, hold it in your head. Then see where it leads you. 

1. here
2. ground
3. answer
4. become
5. return
6. infinite
7. cloud
8. peel
9. uncover
10. approach 
11. ramble
12. grip
13. deviate
14. kind
15. rise
16. resolve
17. tend
18. glide
19. remove
20. stretch
21. abundance
22. align
23. begin
24. build
25. dedicate
26. shadow
27. complete
28. radiate

What happens when we sit with a word? When we unpack it? When we investigate every single letter? When we consider what’s behind the definition? That’s what these words are for. They are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

February 1, 2022 at 06:25

2022 Words for Creating and Being: January

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New year, new prompts!

Last year I put together monthly lists of creativity prompts. They were mostly intended as drawing prompts but they worked as writing prompts too.

I wanted to continue this year but felt that drawing prompts could often be a little prescriptive. Creative plays a role in my daily life, but I am personally not someone who does well with strict daily routines. I wanted some kind of prompt that felt a little more open to interpretation.

Enter the 2022 Words for Creating and Being.

Creativity isn’t passive—creativity requires action. Most of all, creativity requires curiosity and contemplation.

Modern society doesn’t always provide a lot of space for that, and if we are seeking to be more creative this is an excellent place to start. To kick off the year, I read Pico Iyer’s The Art of Stillness and this stood out:

“It’s easy to feel as if we’re standing two inches away from a huge canvas that’s noisy and crowded and changing with every microsecond. It’s only by stepping farther back and standing still that we begin to see what that canvas (which is our life) really means, and to take in the larger picture.”

So these monthly lists of words will be a space for doing that. Use them as a springboard for writing, for drawing, or just for thinking. Take the word to paper with a pencil. Take the word with you on a walk and ponder. Share the word and see what conversation it sparks. These words are intended to create space for contemplation, they are an ask for you to invest time in the creative process in all of its forms.

I didn’t launch this list on January 1st. There’s so much pressure on the first day of the year to start something new. I think we need a pause before we begin, a little extra breathing room. So that’s what … is for.

//

1. …

2. presence

3. exist

4. quiet

5. solitude

6. exchange

7. rejuvenate

8. dull

9. absorb

10. wind

11. howl

12. extend

13. breathe

14. befriend

15. capture

16. collaborate

17. dark

18. cultivate

19. hope

20. plan

21. consider

22. reflection

23. unearth

24. deepen

25. marinate

26. beam

27. ignite

28. expression

29. renew

30. arrive

31. create

We spend our lives surrounded (and sometimes inundated) by words. We read books, we have conversations, we write emails, we scan headlines. But how often do we really spend time contemplating them? Time holding a word, turning it on its head, considering it means and what we want it to mean? 

I can’t wait to see what spending stillness with some words will lead to. 

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Written by Anna Brones

January 2, 2022 at 11:59

Daily Creativity Prompts: December 2021

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New month, new prompts!

The last month of the year, the entry point to the darker season. The welcome of solstice, the celebration of festivities. It’s can also be a bit of a hectic/frantic season if you do any kind of elf business, so I am taking some time every morning like I did last year to look at my Advent calendar, drink a cup of coffee, and do a drawing.

This also marks an entire year of me making monthly lists of daily #creativefuelprompts. I haven’t done them all (except for the monthly mugs!), but making them has been a reminder to constantly invest in creativity, no matter what the investment is. Thank you to all of you who have done some of them, many of them, or all of them if you’re my friend Margret (seriously she did an entire year’s worth).

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

Want some more ways to slow down and enjoy this season? I’ve got my annual digital Advent calendar running this month as well which you can still sign up for. As always, these monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon.

Daily Creativity Prompts: November 2021

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New month, new prompts!

The first time I made a list of monthly prompts was last November. So this marks a year of making them. Not necessarily a year of doing them every day, but I definitely have a lovely collection of all the monthly mugs in my sketchbook.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

November 1, 2021 at 13:48

Daily Creativity Prompts: October 2021

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New month, new prompts!

October is Inktober, so there are a lot of people doing daily drawings this month. Maybe it’s time for you to join in too?

And yes, #2 is definitely a McSweeney’s reference.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

October 1, 2021 at 09:07

Daily Creativity Prompts: September 2021

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While I am not quite ready for fall yet, I made September prompts that will hopefully gently ease us into the season.

Drawing, writing, daily, daily-ish… whatever works for you on these.

Take some time every day to sit down and draw the prompt. Don’t love drawing? Use them as writing prompts instead. Or do something entirely different: blind contour drawings perhaps?

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

September 1, 2021 at 10:52

Daily Creativity Prompts: August 2021

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You know the drill: draw, write, scribble, etc. Do them daily or just drop in here and there.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

August 1, 2021 at 13:21

Daily Creativity Prompts: June 2021

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You know the drill: draw, write, scribble, etc. Do them daily or just drop in here and there.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

June 1, 2021 at 08:30

Daily Creativity Prompts: May 2021

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A new month, a new list of creativity prompts.

These can be used for drawing, painting, writing, scribbling… whatever works for your own creative practice. Do them daily, do them daily-ish, or dip in every now and then.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

May 1, 2021 at 09:26

Armchair Travel Sketchbook

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“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

– Twyla Tharp

What does travel do for us? We travel for many reasons. Sometimes it’s to new places for unexpected experiences. Sometimes it’s to well-known places that feed our soul, places that provide a sense of calm and grounding. Sometimes it’s simply because we need a reset.

Today is for conjuring up a little bit of the magic of travel without going anywhere. We’re going to do a bit of armchair travel journaling. A dose of travel without leaving home.

Supplies:

  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper or notebook

Optional:

  • Watercolors, markers, etc.
  • Reference photos or an old travel sketchbook

When I travel, I am not always great at keeping a travel journal or sketchbook, but when I do, I always love looking back on them. I think the main draw of a travel sketchbook is that when you come across a sketch from one of your travels, you always think “oh, I remember that day.” Yet in the moment, when you’re hesitating to put pen to paper, it’s so easy to think to yourself, “I can’t draw that.”

But no matter how quick or messy a travel sketch is, when I have looked back at them later, I have never once thought “that’s terrible.” Instead, those sketches evoke feelings and memories. They capture not just places but moments in time. They hold smells and sounds and textures.

Today we will focus on exactly that, and it doesn’t matter what the end result is. It’s the practice of taking yourself somewhere else through art.

There are two ways to go about this prompt, pick whichever one works for you.

Prompt #1: A meditation on place

In this prompt, you are going to pretend that you are in a place that you want to go to. Ideally it’s a place that you have already been to and love, because you are going to work on mentally putting yourself in that place.

Close your eyes for a moment and envision that place. Where are you sitting? What are you looking at? What temperature is it? What do you hear? What do you smell?

When you open your eyes, write a short travel journal entry, as if you were in that place. I think it’s helpful to choose a time of day for this journal entry, which will of course help to guide you with what activities you would be doing in that moment. It can also be helpful to make a little bullet list of all the elements your senses are picking up on.

Once you have done a little writing about where you are, what you are seeing, and what you are feeling, add some drawings. I think it’s helpful to focus on a few objects that help to capture the feeling of a place. So let’s say you put yourself on a beautiful beach somewhere tropical; focus less on capturing the entirety of the beach and everything that’s on it, and focus instead on a handful of individual elements that feel true to the scene. The blue of the water, a towel, a shell on the sand.

I found that after doing this exercise, it was clear from what I had written and drawn that I was craving certain things. Things that could be found in that place, but also things that I could do for myself here at home. So maybe doing this exercise will allow for a little introspection on where you are emotionally and what you’re craving right now.

Prompt #2: Take inspiration from a favorite travel photo

It’s always fun to go back through photos of where we have been before. Find a photo from a trip that you loved and use that as your reference photo.

You can choose to write about that moment, or draw it, or both.

When drawing, same thing here as above: challenge yourself to focus on a few different elements that you really want to highlight. Or maybe you want to let loose a bit and make a blind contour drawing based on your reference photo.

Whatever prompt you do (or maybe you do both!) I hope you enjoy a little armchair travel. As Twyla Tharp says, run away, even if it’s only for a little bit.

This was a prompt featured in Creative Fuel Challenge, a semi-regular newsletter with creative prompts. I usually send it out twice a week, and it’s intended to inspire a little but of extra time for creativity in your day. Sign up here.

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Written by Anna Brones

July 13, 2020 at 10:48