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Other Ideas

There are plenty of ways to get creative without using a computer. Here are some top tips for developing the ideas you have, or for inspiring new ones:

General:

For Firing out Ideas:

For Making Quick Decisions:

For Mixing Up Ideas:

Keeping a notebook/visual diary

A sketchbook/notebook is your 'visual' diary - somewhere to store ideas, to plan and develop work and to experiment.

Keep your diary with you - you never know when inspiration will strike! Always be on the lookout for things to record and try to capture everything. Look through your diary regularly reflect and build on your ideas.

Many famous and creative people have kept notebooks and visual diaries. Artists like Picasso, Van Gogh and Henry Moore kept sketchbooks. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and writer Bruce Chatwin had notebooks. Leonardo da Vinci used his to work through ideas and record visual and scientific observations.

What does a visual diary look like?

Your diary can be whatever you want it to be - anything from a plain exercise book to a smart file. Think about what you will use it for. If you're an artist you will probably want something with unlined, good quality paper but if you're a writer it might be better to have a book with pockets to keep clippings in. If you don't want to carry a book around, try a dictaphone or a laptop.

What to put in your diary

Staring at a blank page can be both inspiring and terrifying! Here are some ideas to start you off:

  • Create a cartoon character of yourself (and a storyline for it)
  • Draw whatever comes into your head, or what ever's in front of you
  • Make a list of significant moments/memories from your life
  • Record your mood each day - try to express it visually
  • Make a list of people you admire/find inspirational
  • Write down some words from your favourite book or song
  • Note down your dreams

You should try to use a diary or notebook to capture and play with your ideas but depending on what you're into you'll use it in different ways. Here are some tips for dancers, artists, musicians, songwriters, filmmakers and writers.

I'm a dancer, what do I put in this diary?

  • Music - potential tracks
  • Feelings associated with music
  • Textures to turn into movements
  • Drawings/sketches for costumes/sets
  • Record of fitness/diet/achievements in class/rehearsal
  • Themes/stories from the news, friends etc
  • Images / photos
  • Diagrams of routines/moves - use stick men drawings if you have to
  • Notes about different style of dance you've seen and might want to experiment with
  • Names of dancer and choreographers to find out about
  • Photos of you in action (ask friends to take some snaps)
  • Reviews (yours or clippings) of other dance performances

I'm a filmmaker, what do I put in this diary?

  • Locations - take your own photos, use clippings, or print off images from the Internet
  • Sketches for sets, costumes, etc
  • Photos for casting - take photos of your friends made up to look like your characters or snip photos out of magazines
  • Names of films / directors to find out about
  • Reviews of films (write them yourself or include other people's)
  • Diagrams of shots, camera angles, or lighting positions you'd like to try
  • Ideas for special effects ideas if any e.g. shooting a section using super 8 and projecting to blank wall to get a grainy effect, or taking underwater shots by placing camera in a glass fish tank

I'm a visual artist, what do I put in this diary?

  • Pictures and studies of other artists' work, notes about their style and techniques, what you like about their work
  • Make visual explorations by trying out new techniques or materials
  • Make a list of significant moments/memories from your life
  • Do some speed sketches
  • Make rough sketches or plans for complex work to be developed in the future
  • Stick in inspirational photos or clippings
  • Get into a habit of regular drawing try to fill one page of your sketchbook everyday
  • Write and make notes ideas, thoughts, quotations
  • Choose a theme to follow and make studies e.g. household objects, portraits or imaginary creatures
  • Draw something from an unusual perspective e.g. draw a still life from a bird's eye view
  • Draw a simple, familiar subject so you can focus on the medium

I'm a musician/songwriter, what do I put in this diary?

  • Rhyming words (for lyrics)
  • Stories you could turn into songs
  • New words you come across
  • Bands / musicians / albums to find out more about
  • Images that inspire you or that you could try to express through sound
  • Tunes / chord progressions (don't just hum it, write it down!)
  • Moods / feelings you could express in music

I'm a writer, what do I put in this diary?

  • Killer lines, gems you come across while reading
  • News clippings for story ideas
  • New words you've come across and would like to use in your writing
  • Snippets of overheard conversations for dialogue
  • Images for settings - creating a mental picture
  • Titles of books people recommend or that you see reviewed/advertised
  • Useful website addresses
  • Publishers names you see while reading, in the library or in bookshops

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