Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
Wile e Coyote was always thinking of ways to catch the smarter, faster and elusive Road Runner. Even though all his attempts failed and even backfired, he never gave up. And that is what made him so funny. We knew it would end in disaster and Wile e would not give up.
Have you ever felt so stuck you just wanted to quit? I hope so because I feel like that often. That is why I love this little exercise so much.
A brainstorm is an exercise that forces the brain into a place where it has to come up with unconventional ways of thinking about an ordinary object.
A brick, a rag, a plastic bottle, a broom. Anything you think of as ordinary will do. A broom is for sweeping the floor, a rag is for cleaning something, a pencil is for writing or drawing. Not so when brainstorming. The idea is to break out of conventional ways of thinking into new territory.
The rules: list ten things you can do with one object.
1. Nothing is too ridiculous
2. Anything is possible
3. Do not hesitate
4. No censoring
5. Be quick
6. Spit it out and keep going
7. Be wrong, inappropriate, silly and dumb
8. Push on your desire to be safe and go forward feeling unsafe, stupid, uneasy.
Once you have the object in mind begin quickly, without hesitation or censorship to make yourself list (in writing or recording) at least 10 unconventional things you can do with the object.
a brick can be used:
1. to break a window
2. as a step
3. to balance on the head
4. as a chin rest
5. to lift as a weight
6. to draw with
7. to draw on
8. to scratch an itch
9. to grind seeds
10. as a bookend
The longer the list the more interesting and varied the possibilities. The result is that you will see ordinary objects in new ways. Seeing something in a new way means you have generated ideas about that thing that you didn't have before. You now have an expanded vocabulary of possibility about that thing.
Brainstorming with an ordinary object will help you to begin to see that there is no such thing as an ordinary object, just ordinary ideas about objects. For an art project or getting stuck in the creative process brainstorming is an excellent tool to get out of a creative rut.
I hope you enjoy this no-cost-creative exercise. And I hope you will try it out with your family and children. Brainstorming is a skill that once learned will keep generating ideas anytime it is used. There is no need to be stuck when you can think outside the box.