Let's Work Through A Prompt Card Together!

I love learning about the creative process of other artists-- it helps me connect to them and their work, understand where they are coming from, and get a glimpse inside how their mind works which I find very interesting! It can also be helpful because seeing how other people go about things can make you think about your own methods, what works, what doesn't, and consider new perspectives.

This gave me the idea of sharing my own process and I thought it'd be fun to pick a card from the Creative Spark Deck and explain how I approach the prompts and draw inspiration from them! This is the card we'll be working through together:

For any type of prompt, I usually start out by asking myself a bunch of questions then seeing where those lead to and what ideas get me excited. From there I may do some research online, look up the word or an idea I have on Pinterest, search for images associated with it on Unsplash, and consider the synonyms and antonyms of the prompt as well as what I've already done in the past and any new things I've been wanting to try.

After I've finished brain storming, I can usually narrow it down to one idea I feel very excited/curious/strongly about and that's what I go with and start working on!

Here are more specific details when it comes to each of the elements on the card I pulled:


Let's start with the text prompts!

Sometimes a word will jump out at me and I know exactly what I want to do. Other times it takes me a moment to settle on one. When it comes to any text prompt, I usually ask myself a bunch of questions to get started. Here are some that came up/my train of thought for the words on this card:
Surprise: How can I add the element of surprise during the process of creating? Is there a way I can surprise the person looking at my art? What is a different and uncommon tool/medium I can use? How can I create marks or a piece where the end product is unknown? When was the last time art surprised me--why?
Literature: What are different things associated with literature? Books, words, library, text printed on paper. Can I expand on one of those items? Is there a scene or sentence from a book I love and want to share? Are there colors I can use from a specific characters outfit? Can I use actual book pages in my piece? How do chapters in a book relate to chapters of my life or my creative journey?
Repeat: Repeat patterns-- what makes one eye catching or unique? Is there a way to repeat a shape that is simple yet interesting? Maybe I can use stamps to create uniform shapes in a pattern. Is there a technique I want to repeat and try again? If so, how do I give it a twist so it's a little different from last time?
Action: What actions and movements can I use to create? Maybe an interesting movement I can make with a brush or doing an action that causes a mark (like rolling a dice covered in paint across a piece of paper)? What feels exciting? What do I think of when I hear this word? Do I want to share something about taking action--however big or small-- since it's something I really believe in?
Drip: What can I drip onto my sketchbook page? What causes drips? What kind of liquid medium can I use? Should I try something very watery then compare to something thicker? What if I dripped paint from really high up and let it fall onto the paper? Is there a way I can use drips but make it look neat and exact instead of messy and random?
(Btw, if you are having some decision fatigue when it comes to these cards, you can look at the number in the spark icon to help you out! See which text prompt coordinates with the number and use that!) 

Here's how I look at the colors...

These are some of the questions I usually ask myself when it comes to colors:

Does it feel like a color I want to work with today? Are these colors I like or dislike? Am I shying away because I find them to be challenging? (If so, it's time to use them!)

What emotions does the color evoke in me/what feelings do I associate with them?

Do they remind me of a certain place, thing, element?

Should I use both colors? What are contrasting or complimentary colors?

Can I combine the colors while still highlighting each one, like a marbling technique? 

For this specific card, the thing that stands out the most to me is the combination of the two colors. The dark blue reminds me of the sea and the green makes me think of trees or the forest. Together they make me think of the globe, earth. This may lead me to do something that has to do with nature, maybe use materials such as leaves or pressed flowers. It could also be a chance to use and highlight recycled materials or create a piece about an environmental issue such as deforestation or climate change.


Art Movement

Even though I've taken an art history class, I feel like I don't know much about the different art movements that exist! I might have a basic concept, but what I really like to do with this source of inspiration is spend time researching it, leaning about the history, its characteristics, what artists and pieces of work are associated with the movement, and how I can interpret it.

For Rococo, "rich", "ornate", "flourish" are the first words that come to mind. When I look it up, Wikipedia describes it as "ornamental and dramatic style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colours, sculpted moulding, and trompe-l'œil frescoes to create surprise and the illusion of motion and drama." 

(OK, maybe I do remember a little something from class!)

Then I take a look at which of those descriptive words catch my eye. In this case it was "asymmetry" so that would be a main characteristic I use in my piece.

For me, inspiration doesn't have to be interpreted literally! So even though my inspiration is from Rococo, my piece might look minimal and clean or geometric which is totally OK! This approach has really encouraged me to look for little details I might have missed otherwise and helps me think outside the box instead of doing something that is more typical or expected.



Each card also includes a pattern at the bottom left hand corner. I consider taking elements from the pattern, what I would change about it, what I could add on, and the different shapes that it is created from.

The pattern on this card reminds me of tiles--maybe because I was looking at a bunch of them recently when researching Marrakech! That could lead me to making my own paper tiles using elements from this design, or repeating them in a square shape.

I also like how it includes curved lines, dots, and those dashes that look like the top of an exclamation mark. I may take those shapes and combine them to create a new pattern.


It's your turn!

How would you interpret these prompts? Which text prompt would you pick or would you refer to the spark number? What do these colors remind you of? What elements of the pattern on the card do you gravitate towards?

I would love for you to use this card and create a piece inspired by one (or more) of the elements on it! (Feel free to use some of the questions I asked if you'd like!)

The best part about prompts is seeing all the different ways it can be approached and interpreted! One prompt can spark hundreds of ideas that go in all different directions and I love that so much! Endless possibilities for us to explore and discover :) 

I hope you liked working through this card with me and that it can help you the next time you come across a prompt! 

If you liked this card and want more to use as a tool for your creative practice, you can find the Creative Spark Deck here.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.