How to Think Creatively | Katie Fabian | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Benefits of Creativity

    • 3. Get Active

    • 4. Play Time

    • 5. Inspiration

    • 6. Embrace Boredom

    • 7. Class Project

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About This Class

You’ve taken awesome classes on Skillshare, learned amazing techniques, now what? What do you do with your new found knowledge? If you’ve ever hit a block in your creative flow or find yourself unsure what to create next, fret no more! 

In this class we will look at the benefits of creative thinking, activities that boost creativity, things that will hinder your imagination, and resources to utilize in your innovative endeavors.

Meet Your Teacher

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Katie Fabian

Illustrator and Writer


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1. Introduction : Ever see amazing works of art, read books that you just can't put down or experience any other types of creativity and wish that you could do it too. You don't need a magic genie to make your wish come true. Hi, I'm illustrator and writer, KT Fabian. I've often been referred to as a jack of all trades, master of none. Despite my lack of mastery, I've still been successful in my creative pursuits because of my ability to think innovatively. There are many benefits to thinking innovatively. In my class, we will look at the uses of creative thinking. How to increase creativity. The activities that will negatively impact your ability to think creatively. Being creative is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets when you want to build your biceps. You don't just do any exercise and throw weights are on hoping for the best. He a specific targeted exercises for that muscle group. Similarly, when you want to increase your creative thinking, you need activities and we'll hone in and target that aspect of your brains thinking to increase. Many people may just send you to Pinterest or Instagram to look for ideas. You can spend hours a day scrolling, pinning, liking, saving ideas that captivate your interests while those sites have their uses, they can also hurt your creativity, can keep you from being able to think more innovatively. In this class. Not only will I direct you to resources that will positively build up your creativity, they will help you think outside the box and give your brain a flying kick into overdrive. Help you no longer fear the creative block that wreaks havoc on your ability to write, draw, cook, whatever it is that you're creative outlet is, you will have the tools you need to break down those walls and let the river of creativity flow join me. And together we can clearly brain fog and think more creatively. 2. Benefits of Creativity : Ingredient really isn't exclusive to writing or art or making something. Creative. Thinking can actually positively impact other aspects of your life, as well as helping you make better art, right? Better stories or create whatever is your outlet. Better creative thinking can help you be a better problem-solver. When you are able to think more creatively and innovatively, you're able to look at problems in a different way of thinking and approaching them in a way that might be different than the traditional approach. This new way of looking at problems will actually benefit you and you'll be able to have less stress in your work environment, in your personal life in any other way, the you have problems that you face. You can see alternative routes to go around that and improve that skill. Being creative actually reduces and relieves stress. Having a creative outlets such as drawing, writing, cooking, macaroni, art, rube Goldberg machines, whatever it is, that's your creative outlet. Actually acts as like a meditation, almost where you can just sit back and let your brain release all of that stressful illness. Many artists and writers will talk about when they get in the zone and things just start flying onto the page. This is an example of when that meditation is actually kicking in. You might not even be aware of time passing or the world around you at that moment because all you can focus on is what you're creating at that moment. Ever feel like you're just one in the crowd. You're lost in the sea of people. And you can't fields who you actually are. Being creative and having a creative outlet actually helps you have a better sense of yourself using, developing your own style of writing, your own style, artwork, your own style of cooking, your own style of macro may, your own style of whatever your creative outlet is, actually helps you have a better and grounded sense of self and helps you feel like, yes, I am awesome and I have this cool thing about me. Self-esteem aside, it also helps you develop your own way of saying who you are through your expression of your creativity. Thinking creative not only helps you develop your sense of style, but it helps you see what you're good at, helps you build your confidence. Having that competence will help you in other aspects as well. It can help you take things that are failures, things that you feel like, oh man, I definitely filled up this task and be able to say, all right, well let's just try again. You'll turn those failures into wins. With the ability to think creatively. In this high-tech world, it's easy to feel separate and lost from everyone else. But being a creative person actually can help you build connection. You're able to connect with other creative people. You can connect on so many other creative sites like it, creatively, Behance, Instagram, as we mentioned before, Pinterest base with those social media is even this own platform with Skillshare. Or you can reach out to other people who are taking the same class and be able to comment on their posts and talk and encourage others. Creating opens opportunities to connect with others, sharing methods and projects with other creatives. And it gives you a sense of belonging. It also gives a sense of freedom and limitless possibilities. It actually can save you money. I know that seems insane because a lot of times I start creative projects and I feel like I have to go to the craft store and buy this and this and this and this. But the reality is creative actually will save you money. Because days when you're feeling down or depressed or just needing a high, you will be looking to go to the store and get that instantaneous thrilled that you get from shopping. Instead, you're looking forward to more likely making something at your own home or wherever it is that you create. And it'll actually save you from buying, exert pointless and unneeded instead of the temporary fulfillment that you get from shopping, creating something gives you a deeper and more meaningful fulfillment. 3. Get Active: Called classic movie legally blind outwards is famous for saying, exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy and happy people just don't shoot their husbands. Along with preventing gram. Exercise can also open your ability to create many times that I've struggled to plan out composition for an illustration, sketch out. Now, outline for my novel, or even just plan my next creative project. In those moments, I know what's best for me to take a walk around the block, jump on the trampoline, or do some yoga to get the blood flowing to my brain and get my brain working better. Study in the Journal of frontiers of human neuroscience found that exercise actually increases the brand ability for divergent and convergent thinking. This is just a fancy way of saying it increases the ability to think creatively. Making a habit of exercising maybe just 15 minutes a day can actually increase your creativity and reduce the number of blocks that you get. Anytime you're feeling stuck or struggling, just get up and go for a walk. That is actually found that walking has the biggest impact on your ability to think creatively. Creativity isn't just dependent on physical exercise. We've all heard the term starving artist, suffering writer. But the reality is if you don't take care of yourself, you can't create. Starving artist is an exception, not the rule. It's easier to create. It's easier to make things. It's easier to get into that meditative state when you've gotten some self-care and done things to help you feel good about you and that your other needs are taken care of as well. Exercise not only increases your creativity, but it also helps take care of those other issues that you might have. It increases your mental, emotional, and physical health. 4. Play Time: Noticed that kids have the most crazy sense of imagination. And their conversation with any kid will tell you that there's something exciting going on in their brains. Kids have wild imaginations because they engage in plate, engaging in play clicks on our creative center of our brain, makes our imagination have to work and think of fun and exciting ideas as adults, we know is engage in play as often as we should. It's easy to become distracted by the TV shows that are on or the next book that's coming out, or even just perusing through our phone on the latest thing on social media. But when we take time to take a break from all of those distractions and engage in play. Crazy things will happen to our own imagination. And we can channel our inner kid, bust out some Tinker Toys, get crazy, goofy with some plastic dinosaurs. Channel your inner child and have a tea party. You may feel weird or uncomfortable engaging in play well like that. But taking the time to engage in those activities or even just doing a word game will help put your brain in a better state. Engaging with regular play will actually grow your creative muscles and make it better. One of my favorite creative activities is to build a Rube Goldberg machine around my house using Domino's and other odds and ends or limit yourself because you think you're too old, too cool to mature to whatever. Let yourself relax and engage in play. And you'll be amazed at how much your brain will be able to create later. 5. Inspiration : Back when I was in college, my professors encouraged us to keep our reference notebook. It was a second sketch that we had to put any pictures that we took it from magazines or just photographs we took all her out and about anything that would inspire us. Nowadays, that's not really necessary because we have Instagram and Pinterest. And on the sides it's really easy to compile ideas and boards and folded. And those sites, it's really easy to consolidate ideas. Just be careful not to let it become a black hole that sucks you in too much repetitive exposure to the same styles over and over again that you see on those sites can actually rob you of your own ability to create in your style, in your way. That being said, there are positive ways for you to be able to continue to work on your own style while being inspired. My favorite resource are random generators. Random generators are all over the Internet. They're usually used for writers. If you're a writer, this is perfect for you because it's generating random, random prompt ideas. But there are also random generators for artists. Using a random generator often will give you a setting, a place. It'll give you a scenario. It can give you a character and describe a character's personality to you. Random generator. There's even one for poses in having a body B and the strains put strange position that maybe you would never consider thinking about that position before for maybe you're cutting sub sandwiches in a certain position to match that body shape. However, it is the year medium of creativity as you can use these random generators to help inspire you to make art, food, story, whatever it is that you'd like to create more inspiration That's really great comes from the books or create this book or wreck this journal, whatever those books are, you can get them and use those to give you prompts as well. If you're not comfortable with random generators, finding those creative prompt books are actually a great outlet to use just to get the thoughts flowing. All right, Let's look at that first random generator. This random generator is a word random generator. This one's specifically focuses on adjectives, but you can get random generators that we'll look at nouns and verbs anywhere they want. You can change the number of adjectives that you want. I'm just going with one here. You can even select the first letter, the last letter, and the number of syllables. And then generate, I'm generating lots. I'm just showing you different options that they have with randomly generating with the different things. Silly humerus, you can read them. And then the last one I end up going with for a prompt would be rapid. So here I am on the procreate file and I'm going to draw the first thing that comes to my mind with the word rapid. And I was thinking of a rabid animal or rapid animal for me would be a rabbit. But I wanted to do more than just draw a rabbit. So this rabbit is rapidly taking pictures. I thought of a rapid flash with a camera. Again, this is just a quick sketch of not doing any super detailed things. And I'm drawing with the rabbit is rapidly taking pictures of this rabbit happens to be rapidly taking pictures of a chameleon. Because I wanted to draw a chameleon, rapidly changing colors for the camera. So each time the camera flashes, the chameleon changes to a new color. Here's the next random generator. This is a random post generator and it doesn't show you a picture, it just gives you a description of different positions. So this one is the we're gonna go with for the example is sitting, leaning back and twisting about one arm, twisted hands and eyes relaxed looking at. So here we are sketching this pose really quick in Procreate. I prefer sketching in blue. It's makes it so I'm less stressed about everything being perfect. I can sketch loosely when I use blue. Even when I do traditional sketching on paper, I use a blue colored pencil often or just a colored pencil. And they have these Prismacolor color race pencils that I use to sketch with because I can still erase versus other colored pencils you can't. So here I am just sketching out the basic parts of the body, the torso, the pelvis, the hands. I am going to adjust the head in just a minute so it looks more like it is looking up and leaning back. After I add these legs, if I was going to do a more detailed sketch, I would go back in and add more details like the face, I would add how the shoulders connecting or to add some clothing lines. But this is again just a quick sketch. But just to give you an idea of how to use this random generator. So here it is. I would add some hair and stuff just to give it an idea. For the next random generator, this is a character generator. This is really geared more towards writers. You can use it any way you like, though, it gives you different character attributes and personality. Sometimes they are conflicting. You can choose how many characters and the gender. We're going to look at. A Lory Phillips who's 22 and outgoing soldier from outer space is obsessed with piano keys, his lips like pillows, and always carries a newspaper. He's striving to redeem himself after pushing a rhino into a volcano. Seems like kind of a cookie character thing, but I'm just having a quick screenshot of this so that I can put it into our procreate file so that we can refer back to it as we're drawing. So here it is up in the corner and we're getting ready to draw this character. So now that we have our procreate file open, I'm kinda playing around with drawing and sketching this character out. Again, you get the idea, I'm destroying the head. Maybe thinking of drawing a piano right here for him to be interested in. But let's look at writings. I've done a lot of drawing ones. I'm going to use the nato app. It's a really cool app I love on my iPad, I use my Apple Pencil 2 right on it. And you can just write in your handwriting. I'm writing kinda hurried. If you mess up, you can scratch it out in, deletes it automatically. And I'm just writing a quick scene about lori that I'm kind of imagining as a character or the sound of the piano keys called to him. Lori took the stairs three at a time as he raised to discover who was playing the piano. Just giving you an idea of this character. And his inks to see the culprit. As newspaper fell from his back pocket. He would regret losing that paper like, Oh, he would miss it dearly later. So as you see, I just tapped on it and then it went right to text so that you don't have to worry about my messy hands. So the next one is a random scenario generator. And we're going to write on this one as well. And it is again very similar to the character one, and you just generate it once or twice. And then I'll give you a scenario. This one is you've been ordered to kill someone you fall in love with. How do you get into the situation? So we're just gonna go and I'm going to take the character Laurie again, even though he's trying to be a good person according to his character description from earlier. And I'm going to write about Laurie and how he is falling in love with his target as he is supposed to be. Eliminating someone has an assassin, a soldier from outer space, but he wants to be a better person since he pushed her right now until the volcano. But as you can see, you can just use these to come up with your own ideas and to inspire some creativity and as a jumping off point, to get you going, maybe you end up falling in love with the character. Like I could totally see myself doing more with Lori in the future. Since I already started creating scenes and things with him. Maybe I create more scenes with Lori and I end up hating Laurie and I just don't wanna do it, have anything to do with him either. It's totally okay because he was a randomly generated character. That is fine. For your project. You can be messing around with these generators. I will list the links to them in the bottom. But if you don't want to really use these generators, that's fine too. I will tell you a little bit more about the NICU app really quick. Then Nebo app or Nebo, I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce, but it's a great app. Basically, if you are better, if you like to handwrite your writing, then it's perfect for writing out ideas. And then my handwriting is really sloppy, as you can tell, I have terrible handwriting and it's hard for me sometimes to go back and read what I was writing. But with this app I can go back and it's already put in text for me. You can even export it into a Word document. So if you're a writer and you're looking for options of how to write, or you just want to jot down ideas and know who the heck you're talking about later. This app is awesome for that. Again, here are the random generators are just a really great tool to utilize for helping you get those creative sparks. 6. Embrace Boredom : Nowadays, it's so hard to be bored. Have you ever drive to be bored lately? It's hard because now you can just whip out your phone and immediately engage with friends, with social media, with video games on your phone, whatever content that you have and couldn't read a book, you can listen to it, but there's so many things on your phone that you can engage in and keep yourself from being bored. As great as that is. It's also so bad for creativity because being bored is actually what helps our brains fill that need. Having that board moment where you have nothing to think about and nothing to do, actually helps our brain problem-solve, come up with ideas and create things to entertain ourselves. Being Word, Lens yourself to drink, daydreaming, doodling, and imagining crazy scenarios. Have you ever heard of paradise folia? There was a time when this phenomenon was feared to be a sign of a mental illness, but actually has been discovered with more research now to be sine of a creative mind. If you don't know who he is, It's the ability to see images in something else, usually faces. So you might have seen those funny, quirky photographs of like a sink that looks like a face or pipes coming out of the street corner that looks similar to some face. Usually when people see it, they see faces or other human-like qualities to an object. The nice thing about pair Dalia is that it can actually inspire you to try and fill in the blanks about that person, that faith, that creature that you're seeing in nothing. One thing that I had been horrible about since I was very young was paradise aliyah and getting to absorbed in it. I love looking at textures on walls, tile, whether its wall texture or the fake photo texture in like bathroom walls. And I will stare at those. And I always discover new creatures, new faces, new characters. And I find myself creating storylines are creating ideas around that new thing that I've just discovered in the wall texture. So if you want to help inspire yourself and you're trying to think of something new. Go stare at some wall texture or cold like a tree bark batteries, find some kind of pattern out there that you can try and maybe find a face or a character or a monster or inspiration for new, whatever it is that you create by staring at it. Very Dalia isn't something you need to be afraid or you can work on developing it because by watching patterns, in seeing patterns in dry, in these textures, you can start to see, oh yeah, there's a picture and let's look at these pictures that I've taken of textures around my house and show you some examples of paradox. Leah, Let's see anything in these images. I'm going to show you each image and then take them only to look at it. And then I'll show you what I saw them by drawing over the texture for you to see her as just a silly example is online. But first here is the wall you might want to hit pause before I start drawing. Here is what I saw on the wall texture. It's kind of like an alligator flowers sneak is what I kind of saw, kind of a fun and exciting thing. I also noticed when I was drawing on this slide, this crazy monkey creature in the corner. It kind of reminds me of a baboon or a gorilla. But I like him a lot is a lot of personality. You've already hit pause here if you want to play along. Here's what I saw. It's a crazy little elf character with a big smile. There's also a fine dragging that I saw and this is my bathroom while Next is more bathroom wall. And yet I forgot to warn you to pause. Sorry. This is what it sounds like a lion. There's also a face. Curator, pause, hit pause. And that's when I felt like is really obvious. You can definitely see the profile of this little fearful day and an angry guy. Or you can change their expressions completely, make it more and folded. Paws. Okay, this is, I think my favorite, It's like a flower monster creature. Before you go to the next video, take 10 minute, five to ten minutes and just let yourself get bored and see where your brain goes, see where your mind waters, and see what you can come up with to create late. 7. Class Project: In this digital age, as we've talked about, it can become harder and harder to create new and truly unique things to you and to the world. But by taking the simple steps that we've discussed in this course. Getting bored, playing with toys are just playing. Working out, getting some physical exercise in, as well as avoiding social media and screen devices. You can increase your own creative thoughts and creative flow. Your assignment in this class, we're going to take a prompt from the random generators that I've listed in the resources tab. Use those random generators to make yourself your own parameters for your project. Use any medium that you want. If you want to take a bottle of lotion and pump it all over your kitchen table and drawing it. Go for it if you want to go and pick flowers and arrange them in an exciting arrangement because that's what that random generator helped you think of. Awesome. If you want to go take pictures of random things in the grocery store because that's what works for your random prompt rate. For random generators to create a prompt for you and then try to create in your preferred medium a project or a picture or written paragraph, character description, whatever that fulfills that prompt, then be sure to share on the Projects tab. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's project and seeing what you guys come up with. I shared mine below. I just did a digital artwork. Bye. You're welcome to do anything that you feel comfortable making.