5 Minute Creative Workouts: Get Your Creativity in Shape | Rich Armstrong | Skillshare

5 Minute Creative Workouts: Get Your Creativity in Shape

Rich Armstrong, Product Designer

5 Minute Creative Workouts: Get Your Creativity in Shape

Rich Armstrong, Product Designer

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21 Lessons (2h 12m)
    • 1. Class Intro

      2:05
    • 2. Welcome

      2:31
    • 3. Why Creative Workouts?

      3:53
    • 4. Rules & FAQs

      3:48
    • 5. Backronym

      8:46
    • 6. Random Word Doodle

      7:34
    • 7. Mind Map

      8:14
    • 8. Idea Dump

      9:08
    • 9. Story Improv

      7:47
    • 10. Word Description

      7:48
    • 11. Word Train

      8:16
    • 12. Feed Your Creativity

      1:05
    • 13. Alternative Uses

      7:27
    • 14. Messterpiece

      8:31
    • 15. Concept Mashups

      6:47
    • 16. Random Haiku

      8:48
    • 17. Starting Shape

      7:21
    • 18. Double Trouble

      8:03
    • 19. What It Isn’t

      7:23
    • 20. Design Your Own Workout

      2:32
    • 21. Conclusion & Blooper Reel

      4:07
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About This Class

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Creativity is powerful and important. But too few of us take the time to keep our creativity in shape. In fact, we often let our creativity wither and atrophy. Which is no good to anyone.

So how do we get and keep it in shape? By intentionally and consistently making our creative muscle sweat and burn! And that’s what this class offers: a bunch of fun 5 minute creative workouts to strengthen and grow your creative muscle!

These workouts will transform how you think and work, and maybe even how you live. During the class we’ll go over how they help, how to do them, and a few variations to try out. We’ll also go over designing your own workout—one that will suit your needs and situation.

If you want to get your creativity in shape, come join the class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Rich Armstrong

Product Designer

Top Teacher

 

Hey! I'm Rich Armstrong, the founder of TapTapKaboom and creator of The Free Creativity Mini Course. I’m a Product Designer who creates compulsively—I design, illustrate, animate, doodle, and code. Yeah! All that! And I love it. I want to upskill you, get you creating, and using creativity as much as possible.

I studied multimedia design, then graphic design, and taught myself how to code. I've freelanced, worked for agencies and startups, and now run my own studio with my wife in Amsterdam. Also, I have a wild imagination and can touch my nose with my tongue!

I've been teaching on Skillshare since 2015 and I frikken love it! Seeing what students create and how they change their lives because of what... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Class Intro: Most of us know that creativity is important, powerful, and that it's not a magical gift bestowed upon the lucky few. If that surprises you, well, here's some good news. Creativity is something we all have. It's like a muscle we can strengthen and build and grow. But here's the crazy thing. Too few of us take the time to give our creative muscle a regular workout. I know we have our reasons, busyness, perfectionism, creative block, fear. But without a regular workout, our creativity withers and dies. We want our creative muscle to be strong and in shape. Now, here's how we make that happen. We intentionally and consistently make it sweat and burn. Five minutes a day is all it takes. That's what this class offers, a bunch of fun, creative workouts, you can do five minutes or less. My name is Rich Armstrong from Tap Tap Kaboom and I'll be your guide and coach throughout the class. In 2015 as a UX designer, my creativity was shriveling up. In desperation and rebellion, I began doodling random words every day. After a few days, I felt that spark return. I was more curious, more creative, and more confident than I'd been in months. Since then I've been doing all kinds of creative workouts. They transformed how I think and work, and even how I love. I'm excited to share some of them with you in this class. I'll explain how they help you, how to do them, give you variations to try, and even guide you through designing your own workouts. If you want to get your creativity in shape, come join this class. 2. Welcome: Hey, welcome, my name is Rich Armstrong and during this class I'll be your creativity coach and guide. To start with, I'm pumped that you're here because choosing to work on your creativity is one of the best decisions you can make. Creativity is powerful. It can change every aspect of your life. It's a skill that will never go out of date, it's future proof, and it's a great way of investing in yourself. But not many people intentionally and consistently work on their creativity. Now, before we jump into more theory, let's get our feet wet and do our first workout. It'll be a taste of what's to come. Grab a pen and paper. What we're going to do is a simplified version of one of the workouts coming up. In one minute, I want you to transform a circle into as many different things as you can. You can use it as the core parts of something or use it as a starting point for something else. Are you ready? You've got one minute. Three, 2, 1. Go. Okay. That was only one minute and if you turn the circle in to at least one thing, it's proof that you're creative. That's kind of what the workouts are going to feel like, except they'll be five minutes long. In the next lesson, I'll go over what they'll look like in more detail and how they're going to help you become more creative. 3. Why Creative Workouts?: This whole class is about doing creative workouts that are five minutes long. Now, what are these workouts? You may be asking, and why do we need to do them and how do they help our creativity? These are all brilliant questions. The big problem is that we have a default mode of thinking, and this mode is super fast. Our brains are determined to achieve utmost efficiency at all costs, so it automates as much as it can. This is great for things like walking downstairs, giving routine answers to clients, sticking a fork into your mouth, and running away from saber tooth tigers. When was the last time you actually thought about doing any of these things? They happen automatically by default. Fluffing heck, our brains are awesome. But when it comes to being creative, our brains often get stuck in this default inefficiency centric mode of thinking. Imagine your brain being a house with thousands of rooms in it. But by default, it only goes into a tiny percentage of them. Why? Because it's an efficiency centric machine, and this is because it's been trained to get the right answers as soon as possible, the answers it's being taught and given. But when your brain is thinking creatively, it's courageous and rebellious. It explores the dark and dusty corridors that rediscover rooms you haven't visited in ages and find secret passages linking rooms together, a prize and breaks open doors, curious for new knowledge. This way of thinking can be trained and practiced. We need to intentionally train our brains to explore, discover, inquire, and play so that we can create a network of rooms full of interesting things. The more interconnected rooms you have, and the easier it is to access these rooms, the more creative you are, and that's where these workouts fit in. They help us think of things we don't usually think of. They help us explore beyond the few rooms we always go into, and they help our brains arrive at new and different outcomes. But why five minutes you may be asking? Well, firstly, we're busy, so we can probably fit five minutes into our day somewhere, somehow. Secondly, I want to help you build a creative workout habit, and five minutes a day seems pretty doable to me. Thirdly, by making them only five minutes long, they become intense. We take action, we try things, we drop our need for perfection, we embrace making mistakes, and that's part of the creative training. Now, what does a workout look like? Well, each workout is five minutes long and you'll be doing a mixture of drawing and writing. Before each workout, I'll tell you how it works, why it helps, and then give you onscreen instructions to follow. At the end of each workout, I'll offer you a few variations to try out too. I suggest doing a workout every day and if possible, at the same time each day. This is how you make those creative muscles bulge through consistency. I like doing my creative workout in the morning because it fires my brain up for the rest of the day. But when you do yours is totally up to you. In the next lesson, I'll go over two ground rules and a few frequently asked questions. We'll get cracking on the workouts after that. 4. Rules & FAQs: Let's cover the ground rules for doing creative workouts first, and then I'll get into some frequently asked questions. Rule number 1, judging is outlawed. You're not allowed to judge what you create during your five-minute workouts as either bad or good. Why not good? Because when your brain thinks it's done well, it stops exploring. It thinks it's achieved. It puts its feet up. Even when it thinks it's on the right track, it looks for similar rooms rather than exploring a variety of rooms. When you say something is bad to your brain, it avoids all other rooms that may be like that room. We want diversity and variety. By outlawing judgments, we train our brain to keep on searching and exploring, and discovering. Even if it sounds wrong or looks weird, try it, put it down, draw it, it may lead to something else. Or it may contain a speck of awesomeness in it that you can expand on later. Rule number 2 is that there are no rules except for rule number 1. You can adapt, change, experiment, and mess around with the workouts as you please. This is your creativity and you know yourself best. There is no right way of doing things. Make up your own rules and have some fun. Now for some questions and answers. Question number 1, can I create for more than five minutes? Yeah. You can create for as long or as short as you like. But if you're aiming to create for long periods of time, I suggest sprinting, resting, and then sprinting again. Think of trying to do push-ups for 10 minutes in a row. You probably cannot do it. But if you alternate between one minute of push-ups and one minute of resting, you probably reached 10 minutes of push-ups. The same principle applies with working out your creative muscle. Rather take a break and then return for another high-intensity session. Question number 2, do I have to do a new workout every single day? No, you don't. The point is to expose you to different methods of exercising your creativity. If you find one you really like and it's the right mix of fun and challenge, keep doing that one. When you get bored or when you want to work on a slightly different aspect of your creativity, or when you want more of a challenge, try a new one, try a variation, or create your own workout. The most important thing here is that you work on your creative muscle on a consistent basis. When you don't feel challenged anymore, it's a good sign to change things up. Question number 3, can I use these workouts when I'm stuck? Yes, absolutely. These workouts will help you get unstuck. When the magic has returned, keep on using them to stay unstuck. There's always space for more creativity. Question number 4, can I use these workouts with actual work in real-life situations? Yes, you can. Try to do them as a team as well. There'll be super fun and maybe a bit challenging for some people in your team. Question number 5, can I turn what I create into frameable and sellable artwork? Of course, you can, but don't make that your goal. Make the super sizing of your creative muscle the goal. Okey-dokey, it's time to begin our daily creative muscle workout schedule. Yeah, that's a mouthful. Let's do this. I'll see you in the next lesson. Remember, bring a pen and some paper. 5. Backronym: In this five-minute workout, your task is to take fictitious acronyms and create as many bacronyms for them as you can. Or in other words, you're going to be making up the meanings for the acronyms. You may be wondering how this is helping your creativity. Well, you're intentionally running through words that you know and seeing how they relate to one another, you're forming connections between words, which then connect to thoughts, memories, and images. Even by thinking of multiple words you can use for a letter, you're already bypassing the realms your brain uses for efficiency purposes. How does this work? Well, on the next screen, there are going to be a bunch of acronyms. Select one and write out its bacronym. When you're done, select another and write out its bacronym. The meanings you make up are totally fictitious, so you can have a lot of fun with them. But try and make the words relate to one another and make sense as a whole. For example, the acronym RIP, you could say it stands for ranch India purple, but that doesn't make too much sense. But really irritating person, on the other hand, could be something you use on a daily basis. Like, she's a bit of a RIP. Yeah, you should totally try using the bacronyms you make up in real life, and yes, you can make up multiple meanings for a single acronym if you want. On the next screen, you'll see the acronyms you get to work with. Create as many meanings as you can in five minutes. Because the acronyms need to be on screen, I won't do this workout with you, but I will catch up afterwards and share some variations. Grab a pen and paper and let's get cracking. Here are your acronyms. I'm going to show you what I came up with for my bacronyms. I started with a very loving energetic ruler or elated. I was trying to find some other word for this energetic one, which is weird, it eluded me. Terribly pretty xylophones with feet; added that W in there, with, I don't know if you can really do that. I know some acronyms, you just leave ands, and ifs, and with, and stuff out. IAYRT: Interesting animalistic yurts in rural Tasmania. What else? Of course, that's what it means. VQW: Violet, I think I meant to say violent queen winnings or very queer ways. I quite like that one. CGPO: Cute garden party ornaments. NYOZ: New Yorkers old zoo or New Year's other Zebra. ATHU: Attractive tactile and heavy underwear or tangy and happy underwear. Quite like tangy and happy underwear. IMP: Impossibly magic people or magnetic, maybe I could have done. Then GWT: Great way, great weekend thank you, great weekend thanks. Maybe I could have done that. I had a lot of fun with these, I hope you did too. That was rad. If you came up with at least one bacronym, then it's proof that you are creative. Keep on coming back and doing the workouts. Now, for some variations of this workout. The first variation is to create as many bacronyms for only one acronym as you can, and the second variation is to make all your acronyms relate to a theme during your five-minute session. That's it for this workout. Well done. Give yourself a high-five and go smash the rest of your day. Tune in tomorrow for another workout. 6. Random Word Doodle: In this workout, you pick a random word and then doodle what comes to mind. You can be literal, interpretive, metaphoric. You can even make a statement if you want. The words I like using for this workout are typically long, weird, or maybe not even English words. But I usually avoid looking up any meanings so that my brain is forced to make something up. What happens is that my brain normally goes into overdrive and it often leads to interesting doodles. In these five minutes, add as much thought and detail into your doodle as you can. Try to doodle quickly, but not messily. Why this workout? Because it ignites your imagination and encourages you to commit and take action. You've only got five minutes to pick and doodle one random word. There's no time for second-guessing yourself. This attitude allows you to make something, test it, learn from it, and then go back to the drawing board in the same time you'd normally have taken just to decide what to create in the first place. Instructions. On the next screen, there are going to be a bunch of random words. Pick one, write it down, and then doodle something that comes to mind. Now pick a word and write it down. I tend to pick a word that jumps out to me, one that excites me. Okay, you ready? I'll be doing this workout with you. Let's do it. You have five minutes. I'll be doodling the word stinkhorn. Yes, well done. What I love about this workout is that it makes us move rather than deliberating about moving. Now for some variations. The 1st way to vary this workout is to allow yourself to look up the meanings of the words before you doodle one. This helps broaden your vocabulary, which adds new connections for your brain to work with. The 2nd variation is to do the workout with word pairs. It makes it more challenging? Yes, but it also makes it more unique, more fun, and more unusual. The 3rd variation is that instead of words, you could use phrases, lyrics, lines from stories or articles, and then draw something based on that. That's it for this workout. If you want your own random words, I have a website for it. You can check out this URL. I also have a whole class dedicated to this workout. You can find it at this URL. 7. Mind Map: In this workout, you get given a random topic to create a mind map around. You may know this as a brainstorm or even a spider diagram, and it's a crazy good technique for coming up with a range of related topics, themes, words, images, thoughts, questions, and ideas. How does this help my creativity though? By mind-mapping or forcing our brain to think of related things that are beyond the defaults that our brains usually come up with. Because we're writing it all down, it gives our brain a space to come up with new ideas, rather than trying to keep everything in its short-term memory bay, which isn't very big. What I think we forget though is that we can use mind maps for anything, meal planning, relationships, Instagram posts, our health, whatever, and by practicing it with a random word as our topic, it prepares us for more meaningful things in the future. Instructions. Starting with your central topic, come up with as many related words, ideas, and images as possible for each word you write down. When you get stuck coming up with related words for one word, start coming up with related words for another. The idea is not to stop, jump from word to word, to word, to word, and keep on coming up with related words. I'd like to share a few variations for this workout before we begin so that you can choose which one you'd like to do. Firstly, you can do this workout with multiple people. Get someone to start the mind map, set a time limit of one minute, and then after each minute get a different person to actively mind map. You could also mind map at the same time as a group, it's chaotic but super fun. The second variation is to use drawings instead of words. This will sharpen your drawing skills and use the visual side of your brain. This gives us different results because we respond differently to images. It's also super fun to do with a group of people. The third variation is to come up with questions and related questions only and then in another session come up with possible answers and solutions. Now, there are plenty of ways to vary this workout. These are only a few. You can use one of these variations for this workout if you like. Are you ready? Choose a number between one and 32. Then on this screen, you'll find you're correlating word, start mind mapping from. Write it down in the middle of your page and get going with your mind map. I'll be mind mapping the word payphone. Are you ready? Let's go. You have five minutes. If you just need a few more seconds to finish off a word or a thought, go for it. What's interesting about mind mapping is that the words each person comes up with vary so much. Even the words you come up with today will be different to the ones you come up with tomorrow. That's it for today. Great work once again. Now, go forth and have a super brand fantastic, awesome day. I'll see you again tomorrow. 8. Idea Dump: In this workout, you come up with as many ideas around a topic as you can in just five minutes. This has been my go to workout for a number of years. It makes my brain sweat and has helped me generate dozens of ideas for designs, UX solutions, my business, my house, and tons of other things. It's also given me confidence and helped me share my ideas with others. How does this help your creativity? Well, by default, when tasked to come up with ideas, we tend to aim for a set amount like five or 10. Once we've reached this magic number, our brain relaxes. It puts its feet up and it calls it a day. But what we don't know is that a brilliant idea could be waiting patiently in the idea queue, just a few places down at number 11 or at number 16. To avoid our brain switching off at a certain number, we ditch the goal and come up with as many ideas as possible. We use a time limit so our brains don't think they're doing this forever. The ideas you come up with can be any type of idea. They could be illustration ideas, business ideas, marketing ideas, home decor ideas, whatever. Now, it may start slow, but one idea will soon become many. Remember, there are no wrong ideas. Simply put each one down. It may lead to another idea and that one to another. The first few ideas may be hard to get out, but it will get easier. Instructions. Pick a number between one and 32. On a screen coming up, you'll see a bunch of topics with corresponding numbers. The topic next to your number will be the topic you're ideating around. If you get stuck and can't think of any more ideas, don't stress. It most likely means that you've exhausted all the easy ideas. When this happens, I wait for a few seconds without judging how stupid I feel, and often an idea will eventually pop up. It's normally super lame, but I write it down anyway. Keep doing this no matter how stupid, weird, or lame an idea is. You're ready? You got that number between one and 32? Here's your topic. Write your word on a piece of paper and get ideating. I'll be ideating around the word piano. Are you ready? You've got five minutes. That was a lot of fun. I love this workout. Now, for some variations of it. The first variation is to start with a word and ideate around a specific type of idea, like book ideas, business ideas, food ideas, gift ideas. The second variation is as follows. Instead of using random topics, make it a topic you want some solutions and ideas for. I often do an idea done for Instagram posts, new business ideas, or UX solutions. You could ideate around your career, an illustration, a piece of marketing, how to get a job, anything that appeals to you. Even though it's a personal topic you're ideating around, remember not to judge what you come up with. The third variation is to focus on terrible ideas because often the worst ideas have these tiny nuggets of gold in them. Even a tiny part of a silly, weird, or terrible idea could be used to create something brilliant. But we're allergic to coming up with terrible ideas. Why? Because we think it's not a good reflection of our creativity. So with this one, you need to ditch pride and let those bad ideas out. We're done with this workout. Do a dance, have a mega red day, and don't be alarmed if your brain keeps on giving you more ideas about bananas or whatever word you ideated around. This is completely normal. Let it happen. 9. Story Improv: In this workout, you're going to tell a story and not just any story. You're going to get a new word to incorporate into your story every 20 seconds and record yourself telling it. Get a voice recording app ready. How this workout enhances your creativity is by strengthening your ability to change direction on the fly, incorporate different ideas and requirements into your work, and to use your imagination as much as possible. Because of the time constraints, there's no pressure to come up with an amazing story. Because you can't edit on the fly, you can't act on how you feel about your story. You just got to keep ongoing. It means you can get better and better at using your imagination without judging yourself. Instructions, on each screen, you'll find a bunch of words. Choose a word to incorporate into your story. Now, the words on the screen will change every 20 seconds, which means they're changing quickly, so you'll need to adapt to your story quickly too. How you incorporate the words is up to you. They can be actual words and your story or part of the plot, or a twist or something that character finds whatever. You're going to be speaking out the story instead of writing it so that you can fit more words into five minutes and that you don't have any way of editing your story. Once you're done, you can listen back to it, share it, or just delete it. For this workout, I won't be doing it along with you, but I will check in after five minutes and tell you about some variations. You're ready with a voice recording app? Here's your first set of words. You've got five minutes. Press that record button now. That was amazing, right? If you have a kid or kids in your life, you could try that with them too. Now, what about some variations? Well, if there's more than one of you take turns in telling the story. Each time the screen changes, so should the storyteller. This makes them more challenging because you can't really plan ahead as a storyteller anymore and you don't know exactly what you've got to work with until it's your turn. The second variation is to make up a story using all the words on just one screen or get a bunch of random words and make up a story using those. The third variation is to use as many of the words on each screen as you like. The fourth variation is writing a story. You'll need more time and longer gaps between the words. This does allow you to think ahead and to edit, but it's not always a bad thing. Story time is over, well done. Now take this creative energy into whatever you're doing today. I'll see you tomorrow for another creative workout. 10. Word Description: In this workout your task is to describe as many words as you can using five words or less. If one of your words was silk, you could explain it as expensive, luxurious material or clothing made from worm poop. When you've described one word, go on to the next. At the end of your five-minutes, tell someone some of your descriptions and see if they guess the original word. If you finish all the words on the screen, go through them again and come up with different explanations. Why this workout? Well, we often don't take the time to make things clear, brief and easy to understand. But there's value in it and value in practicing it. There's this quote by Mark Twain that goes, "I didn't have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead." We're doing this workout to decrease the reliance on our default words and terminology and to practice conveying more with less. Instructions. On the next screen you'll see a bunch of words. Start with one word and describe it in five words or less. You don't have to come up with a description in your mind. Use your paper to explore and experiment. When you're done with the description for one word, get onto another word or another description for the same word. If you get stuck on one description, stop working on it and get onto another description. Because the words need to be on the screen during the workout, I won't be doing this one with you, but I will check in with you after the five minutes are up. You ready? Here are your words. You've got five minutes. Let's go. Well done. Now here are a few of my descriptions. Motorcycle, loud two wheel transport. Man, I'm not a big fan of motorcycles or mopeds or scooters or anything like that. Bath, I found that one pretty cool, warm water to get clean or soapy water, something like that. Coast was no, but average. Guitar, in hindsight, it could have been a stringed instrument that rockstar uses or rockstar stringed instrument, something like that. At the moment it's a bit like ah, don't really know. Bus, I quite like this one. In charge person at work. Those are my favorites. I'd love to know what you came up with. Cool. Now for some variations, the 1st variation is to choose one word and describe it in as many different ways as possible. The 2nd variation is to find the shortest description for each word. An elephant could be a big gray animal or Dumbo species, for example. Okay, we're done here, go forth and conquer your day. You rock, I'll see you tomorrow. 11. Word Train: In this workout, you start with the word and create a train of related words. For each word you write down, write down the first related word that comes to mind, and then the first word that relates to that and so on. The task is to create the longest word train that you can in five minutes. How does this help your creativity? By getting better and quicker at this focus method of connecting things, it allows you to reach ideas and thoughts that are difficult to get to when casually thinking about a topic. How this differs from a mind map is that you're creating connections in one direction only and going far in that direction. While a mind map gives us a broad spectrum of related ideas, a word train is like a laser beam of connectivity. You're going to reach ideas and thoughts and imagery that you wouldn't normally get to even when using a mind map. Instructions; grab a pen and paper, and choose a number between 1 and 30. Then on the following screen, there will be a word correlating with a number you've chosen. Start your word train with this word, and keep it going for five minutes. If you reach a word that you've used before, that's okay, think of another related word and write it down. Sometimes while you're writing a word, related words will be rolling by like a slot machine; pick the one that's currently on your mind when you finish the current word. Conversely, at times there are no related words that come to mind. When this happens, just wait a few seconds. You'll feel your brain scramble. Sometimes the weirdest word will come to mind, write it down anyway. Remember, no judging. Are you ready? Pick a number between 1 and 30. Here's your starting word, write it down and begin making your train. I'll be starting from the word sailboat. Are you ready? Let's go. You have five minutes. How was that? I bet you came up with an interesting train of words. Now this workout has some pretty cool variations. The first variation is to do this workout with somebody else, or better yet, a group of people. You do this by alternating who comes up with the next related word. Doing this injects different experiences, connections, contexts, and preferences into the word train, and it prevents you from thinking three words ahead. Each new word has the possibility of being something unexpected. The next variation is to combine this workout with mind mapping. Every fifth word or so, come up with several related words and then pick a direction to take for another five words. The third variation is to return to a few favorite words once your five minutes is done and create new trains from those for another five minutes. You can do this in the same sitting or on another day. Well done on today's workout. Are you starting to feel your creative muscle getting bigger? Well, keep on coming back. I'll see you tomorrow for another creative workout. 12. Feed Your Creativity: While you're doing your creative workouts, you'll most likely start to see the magic muscle begin to grow. But muscles need fuel. Think of bodybuilders. They drink them protein shakes to help the muscles grow. What's the protein shake for your creative muscle? A varied diet of ideas and inspiration. If you want to come up with new and different ideas, begin to intentionally read and watch a variety of things, especially things that you wouldn't normally consume. Then try and get outside and explore your city or your neighborhood. Take a different route, be present, and take in as much as you can. I have a whole class on this if you want to get inspired by your city. Follow this URL to check it out. Working on your creative muscle and drinking creative protein shakes are a potent combo for making your creative muscle bulge. Do them together for the best results. This public service announcement is over. You may resume your workout schedule. 13. Alternative Uses: In this workout, the task is to come up with as many uses for something as possible within five minutes. They uses do not need to be rational. A swimming pool can be used for swimming, yes. But it could also be used for learning how to surf and for skating on in winter, and for breeding frogs and mosquitoes and as a skate park or as punishment for people who suffer from aquaphobia. You get the points. This workout is a complete ripoff of a test designed by this guy called J.P Guilford in 1967. He used it to test creativity. But we're not using it to test creativity, we're using it to make it better. It's a great way to force our brains into thinking laterally. How does this work out help? Well, it helps you question the world around you. You're asking how things could be different. You're practicing believing that anything is possible. As Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." When we believe that, normally anything is possible. Yes, this workout may be hard and maybe after 30 seconds you're like, "I'm done, I cannot continue. This swimming pool can only be used for swimming." But give your brain just a few moments to get off it's lazy butt. "Oh, okay. A swimming pool can be useful making giant milkshakes and breeding sharks and for creating aquariums at schools, and for hosting Aquaman dress up parties." Yes. If you don't know what the real use of something is, like smoke, for example, it doesn't matter. Come up with as many uses as possible. Instructions: Pick a number between one and 32. On the screen, you'll find you're correlating word. Write down that word, and then write down as many uses for this word as you can in five minutes. I'll be working with the word oven. Are you ready? Let's go. You have five minutes. If you didn't come up with too many right away, that's okay. Now if you want to have some fun, do this workout with a kid, they're great at it. That's what we're trying to get our brains back to, being like a kid where anything is possible. Well-done on today's workout. I'll see you tomorrow for another session. 14. Messterpiece: We often strive for perfection in our lives, our relationships, and especially in our creative work. We know in theory that perfection cannot be achieved but we strive for it anyway, which often makes us super-critical of our work, or it prevents us from creating at all. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just make a mess. Flawless workout, that's what we'll be doing. You'll see a bunch of random words on-screen that will change every 30 seconds. With each new set of words that appear on screen, pick one word and draw it. How's this helping my creativity? Well, firstly, you are creating. Sure it might not be pretty, but you are creating. Secondly, you're not thinking, criticizing or judging, which can often be a big fat handbrake when it comes to creativity. Because of the time pressure here, there is no time for thinking critical thoughts. In fact, because we know that perfection in this instance cannot be achieved, it sets us free to create without judging and the more you practice this, the easier it becomes to not judge your work and to create without the pressure of creating something perfect. Instructions. New words will appear on the screen every 30 seconds, pick one and draw it. But to make it more fun, I'm going to explain a few variations before the workout begins in case you want to do one of them during the workout. The first variation is to draw with your non-dominant hand or alternate hands every 30 seconds. Second variation is to use a different drawing utensil every 30 seconds. You could use highlighters, paints, crayons, markers, pencils, pens, and whatever else you want. The third variation is to draw with your eyes closed. Open your eyes when you hear this sound, it means there are new words on the screen to look at. Are you ready? I'll catch up with you after five minutes and show you my messterpiece. Let's do it. You have five minutes. Here are your first set of words. On my masterpiece I used some Tombow markers which are pretty cool and fun and Sharpie, which is great. Three colors, which is pretty cool and then these are what I drew. I really like my jellyfish, my big truck and my skull. I think that could have been bigger, and my graffiti, zebra, my caterpillar. So yeah, and a little bit of a combination between what I showed you. I didn't just use one marker, I used all three markers. Then sometimes I had a bit of a delay between finishing one drawing and then doing the next one. I began coloring in things like these little hubcaps on the big truck and I was going to color in the windows too, but I didn't quite get there. So yeah, a lot of fun. I really like my toothpaste on my toothbrush, I think that works really well. There we go. Pretty fun. This is one of the best ways to warm up, have some fun, and get ready to create. Now, if you want to give your desire for perfectionism another punch in the face, I dare you to post your piece on social media, frame it, gift it or offer it for sale. That's it for this workout, well done on tackling that deep desire for perfection. I'll see you tomorrow for another workout. 15. Concept Mashups: In this workout, you begin with two words and then think of as many concept mashups as you can. What's a concept mashup, you may be asking? Is where you create a new thing by combining things from both words. If the two words were bottle and mouse, I can think of a milk bottle with mouse prints all over it, a mouse trap with a milk bottle in it, a milk bottle-shaped mouse trap, a mouse drinking milk, a milk bottle with ears, and eyes, and whiskers, a milk bottle with levels, and ladders, and rooms for mice. Your ideas can be literal, conceptual, funny, weird, plain, and simple, whatever. You can even work with ideas and themes your words make you think of. Now, how does this help your creativity? We often have very set ways of thinking about and doing things. When you get into the practice of combining different parts of things together into something new, you begin doing it everywhere and with everything. The results can be terrible, but they can also be interesting and wonderful. It can lead to new styles, new ways of working, new subject matter, and new ideas. Instructions. Pick two different numbers this time, each one between one and 32. On this screen, you'll find the two correlating words you'll be working with. The words I'll be working with are costume and ladder. Are you ready? You have five minutes to write down or draw as many mashups between the two of them as you can. Let's go. That's our workout done. Have a rocking day. 16. Random Haiku: In this workout, we'll be writing a haiku. It's a short-form poem from Japanese origins. But what to write a haiku about? Every time I consider writing one, I feel like I need to say something and be elegant and awesome and beautiful, but it hardly ever is. So I hardly ever write one. But when you add a time limit and random words into the mix and call it a workout, well, all that changes. You don't feel too bad about making up rubbish and writing bad poetry. When you get good at writing about rubbish, you get better at writing about the good stuff too. We're going to write haikus based on random words. A haiku has 17 syllables and is usually three lines long with five syllables on the first line, seven syllables on the second line, and five syllables on the last line. It's like a little hamburger. How does this help your creativity? You've got tons of constraints here which resemble real-life lines, syllables, a time limit, and a topic. It grows our ability to create without really needing a muse or inspiration and believe me, when you then find your muse, if you've been working out, the creativity explodes. Instructions. On the next screen, pick a word you want to write a haiku about and then get writing. Once you've written one, write another one about the same word or pick a new word to write one about. Use a whole page to write words down, play with word combinations, and also to count syllables. You do not have to compose the perfect haiku in your brain before writing it. Start writing as soon as possible. Now, because the words need to be visible on screen the whole time, I'm not going to do this one with you. But, afterwards, I'll share what I came up with and I'll talk through some variations. Are you ready? Here are your words. You have five minutes to write your haikus. Go. Okay. Time is up. How did that go? If your poem isn't complete, you can finish it off if you want, but there's no pressure to do that at all. Here's what I came up with. The first word that I chose was army, and what I wanted to convey here was, man, how pointless war is. So I got to many men fighting for their different beliefs again and again. I wanted to maybe talk about walking because they walk a lot more than they fight. They also fight for kings and queens and commanders who aren't there and who aren't in battle and are sitting in their castles and palaces. So a pointless haiku. The next one was about blood. Perhaps I had battles and war on my mind. It's red and life. It's shed by so many. I like this part. I didn't finish it. That can go up there, relates to what I was working with before. It's red and life not so good. I didn't feel super creative doing this. I felt stuck, but this is why we're doing it. We're working our creativity. We're making our brains sweat so that we can get better at this stuff. So that was only five minutes. I didn't spend hours doing this, which it's a good thing. There we go. Now for some variations to try out. The first variation is to include four other random words in your haiku. The second variation is to make your haiku rhyme and the third is to ditch making it a haiku and just write any kind of poem, rhyming or not. Our workout is done, creativity strengthened. I'll see you tomorrow. 17. Starting Shape: This is the workout we did in the welcome lesson; I think you may remember it, but I've added a few more shape options. Here you'll pick a shape and then turn it into as many different things as you can in five minutes. You can use it as the core part of a thing or use it as a starting point for something else. For example, a circle could become a wheel or it could become an eye of a robot. The more weird the object, the harder the workout. So if you're up for a challenge, try a weird shape. How is this helping? Well, we often start with something that already exists and then create from there, rather than coming up with something totally new, and that's what we're practicing here. A big component of this is observing what exists already, which this workout will improve before turning it into something else. You can also start drawing without knowing exactly what you're drawing and sometimes the mere act of starting kick starts our brain into action. Instructions; gab a drawing utensil, pick a shape to start with, and then draw it somewhere on your page. This is your template. If you get stuck, rotate the page. This gives you a new perspective. You ready to turn that shape into as many different things as you can? Let's go. You have five minutes. How was that? Pretty fun for me. You may start noticing shapes and all kinds of objects and situations now, and that's great. You'll start to see that the world is made up of simple things, and these simple things when combined, turn into more complex things. Now here are some variations you can try; instead of a shape, you could use a squiggle, a toner piece of paper, an object, an ink blob, a paint blob or some other starting object. Another variation is to use the whole five minutes to draw one object or scene; here you get to add the details. The third variation is to force a shape into a random word. Here you're building on top of what exists and coming up with how something could possibly work. Oftentimes we believe things aren't possible until we try. We've got to challenge what we don't think is possible. That's it for this workout. 18. Double Trouble: In this workout, you're going to draw as many two-word combinations as you can in five minutes. Each combination needs to contain one word from set a and one word from set b. You can use one word from one set and match it with as many words in the other set as you like, or you could randomly see which words jump out from each set and work together. Why this workout? You're getting your brain working faster. You're trying to spot things that can work together to form something new. Too often we just set trying to think of something new, which is really hard to do. It's far easier to look around and see what we can mix together. We're strengthening our ability to evaluate the possibility of a new idea, and then we're creating it. Instructions. On the next screen you see two sets of words. Pick one word from each set and draw something based on a combination. It can be literal, figurative, smart, clever, whatever. When you're done with one pair of words, pick another two words. You don't need to write what each drawing is, but it does remind you what you drew. Now because the words need to be on screen the whole time, I won't be doing this workout with you, but I will catch up afterwards. Are you ready? Here are your words. You have five minutes. Let's go. What I came up with was quite a lot of fun, I think. This sparrow whale could be an epic tattoo. Maybe you'd get it if you're a bit drunk, but if you did it really well, I mean, a whale with sparrow wings, just amazing. Then the tortoise wig, it's like having a tortoise hat or maybe real tortoise on your head, that would be pretty cool. The lipstick moose, would be a moose with its horns, just being your own antlers, just being full of lipstick. That'll be super cool, imagine it bending over and just being able to lipstick anybody who needs lipstick, really cool. A wallet frog, a frog that bounces around. Maybe a Harry Potter kind of a thing, a little frog jumping around and as you need money, you just like [inaudible] , and it pops its mouth open and then there's money or coins inside there. It doesn't have to be like an ending coins, but maybe it's just your wallet. Then the dreamy sailboats. I mean sailboats are already dreamy, but put it on some clouds and [inaudible] dreamy sailboat, amazing. Then the rapping phone with a bit of bling, and it's like, hey yo I'm a rapping phone, yo. That's what I came up with. Now for some variations. The first variation is to create as many different drawings for one word pair before moving onto a new pair. The second variation is to replace one set of random words with a concept, idea, a problem or style you're working with, and then try combine it with random words to create something different. That's it for this workout. Great going. I'll see you tomorrow for another one. 19. What It Isn’t: In this workout, we start by mind-mapping all the things a word is not. Then with each of these isn't words, we come up with things that are these words. If we start with cooking, what is a cookie not? Heavy, sour, angular, disgusting, unbreakable. But what is heavy? An elephants, a truck, a whale. What's sour? Sour worms, some sodas. What's angular? A building, stairs, metal, an army vehicle. What's disgusting? Sewage, vomits pooh. What's unbreakable? Crystal, a diamond, titanium, my wedding ring. Why this workout? What this workout is doing is actively telling your brain and giving it permission to think of wrong, different, and opposite ideas. It's giving your brain the room it needs to find other ways, and to not just go for the straightforward answer. What often happens is that it opens the doors to other rooms in our brain for future thoughts to access. Instructions; You know what to do by now. Pick a number between 1 and 32. On this screen, you'll find your correlated words to work with. Write it down in the middle of your page, and then start writing what it isn't. Once you've got some isn't words, come up with things that are these words. I'll be working with the word mountain. You ready? Let's do it. You have five minutes. How did that go for you? What insights did you gain? How about some variations for this workout? The first variation is adding a third level where you draw a combination of a word that is with the word in the middle. This could be an elephant cookie, a cookie vomiting, a crystal cookie. You can see that these combinations become really interesting. The second variation is to alternate between coming up with what isn't, and then what is, and then with what isn't, and then with what is again. This workout is done. Today was the last official workouts, but you can come back anytime you want and repeat a workout or try a variation. There's also a PDF with a ton of workout ideas in it. In the next lesson, I'll be going over creating your own workout. 20. Design Your Own Workout: So you've done a bunch of the workouts and that's awesome. But sometimes you want to do your own thing. You want to make up your own rules and create something that suits your needs better. So that's what this lesson is all about. When I design a workout, I think of what I want to get better at. It could be taking action or being wrong, it could be using my imagination or giving myself space to create and think, or something practical like drawing faces or designing icons. What I'd like to do is ask myself some questions. The first question is, what do I want to get better at? This is totally up to you because only you know what you need. The second question is, how do I help my brain achieve this? This is where you come up with a bunch of possible ideas, answers, and solutions. I use a list or mind-map for this, and you can use some of the workouts we've done in the class to come up with ideas here. The third question is, what can I use to achieve this? In this class, we've worked primarily with words and images because our minds work in words and images. So what can you use to prompt words, images, thoughts, ideas, and memories? You could use objects in your house or studio, you could use what you see and find outside, you could use conversations, magazine clippings, photographs, lyrics. To come up with some possible solutions, create a mind map of what you could use to achieve your aim. The fourth question I ask is, what constraints and rules am I going to put in place so that I'm forced to work on the thing that needs work? So if you want bigger arm muscles, you don't do leg exercises, you do arm exercises, and it's the same with creative workouts. We limit the use of certain things, so we're forced to use things that we want to get better at. We had a time constraint so we take action and don't judge, we use random words that we work with a range of ideas. If you wanted to get better at creative writing, you could create rules and constraints around using words with a certain length, using words that rhyme, using a certain number of words, and using certain types of words. You can see that we're using the same techniques we've learned in our workouts to create new workouts. It's pretty powerful and you'll start to do this all the time in your everyday life. Once you've designed a workout, try it out and then tweak it or design another one. Keep on tweaking and testing until you find a workout that helps you achieve what you want. If you want to share a workout you created, share it in your project area, I'd love to see it. 21. Conclusion & Blooper Reel: Yes. You've completed all the workouts, well done. I'm sure your creative muscle is feeling a lot stronger now. That's the point. Keep on giving it a regular workout, you want it to grow steadily, bit by bit. If it means you come back and do a workout each day or a few times a week, then great. If it means you make up your own workouts and do them daily, fantastic. Just keep working on that creative muscle. If you want random words to work with, you can find them at this URL. You should have a bunch of pieces of paper full of drawings and words, and mind maps. I'd love to see some of them. Please upload a few to your project area on Skillshare. If you've enjoyed having me as your coach and guide, follow me here on Skillshare. I'm continually working on new classes to help you level up your skills. I'd also really appreciate you leaving a review of this class. It means a lot to me and it helps future students know if they should or shouldn't take the class. To stay in touch with me, join the TapTap Kaboom newsletter at this URL and find me on Instagram, I'm @taptapkaboom. That's it from me. Keep on making your creative muscles sweat and burn. Bye for now. I want you to build a creative workout habit. We embrace making mistakes. Secondly, I want to help you build. Now for some blah, blah, blah, the same principle applies. I sound like a Newscast reader person. Sweet. [inaudible] brain normally thinks of. For as possible, is by strengthening your ability, strengthening a ning, a ning. I get it right. Another description for the same word, tongue in my mouth. Talking head, farting, clapping, smelly. But there's no pressure to do this if you want or not. But there's no pressure to do this at all. It's like I've got extra teeth in my mouth or something. Should I just speak with an accent, then I can leave off all the Ts off the end of the words? Why can't I say workout? I have a tongue in my mouth as well. Humble. Why are you laughing? You have five minutes. You have five minutes. All the way to the bottom of the ocean. All the way to the bottom, all the way to the bottom. You have five minutes. That was not a good explanation. You have five minutes. Let's go. Put the bloody T in there. Come on. I'm sorry. Yes. Okay, we're done.