Skyrocket Your Creativity & Get Better Ideas: 7 Easy Ways | Kristen Palana | Skillshare

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Skyrocket Your Creativity & Get Better Ideas: 7 Easy Ways

teacher avatar Kristen Palana, Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder

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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

12 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Hello and Welcome!

    • 2. Word Association and Listmaking

    • 3. Put Your Subconscious to Work: The Power of Dreams

    • 4. Quantity Begets Quality

    • 5. Reverse Psychology: NOT Trying to Think of an Idea

    • 6. Design Thinking: Introduction (*Find Resources in the Discussions Area)

    • 7. How to Take an Ordinary Day and Make It Extraordinary: Creativity In Daily Life

    • 8. Creative Visulazation and More Resources for Designing Your Life

    • 9. Extra: 5 Easy & Free Tools That Will Free Your Creative Soul

    • 10. Extra: Using a Sketchbook and Turning Stress Into Creativity

    • 11. Extra: Utilize Time to Make Better Designs -Case Study (In Photoshop)

    • 12. Bye and Thanks!

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About This Class

Did you know that the most successful people on the planet are also the most creative? Throughout the ages, time and time again, ordinary people from all walks of life who were able to come up with extraordinary ideas that they then acted upon, have risen to the top of every field across all disciplines, acquiring great fame, wealth, and influence.

Do you struggle with coming up with creative ideas? Do you feel that you're not a creative person? Would you like to learn how to become more creative? Welcome to Skyrocket Your Creativity and Get Better Ideas: 7 Easy Ways, the go-to course for learning how you can increase your creativity!

In today's word, ideas are often called "the currency of the 21st century." Find out in this mini course how to increase your "creative earning power" by increasing your ability to come up with more and better ideas. By learning how to become more creative, you'll also boost your ability to be more influential at work, in your artistic endeavors, and in your daily life.

In this sampler course you will learn proven methods for generating more and better ideas. Creativity is a muscle that EVERYONE has that can be grown and strengthened. This course will show you how with practical tips you can begin using immediately, even before you finish all the lessons.

Some of the creativity boosting techniques I discuss include:

Harnessing the power of your subconscious mind
Reverse psychology
Design thinking (An overview)
Quantity begets quality
List-making and Word Association
Creative Visualization
Creativity in Your Daily Life

I'm a university professor with 15 years of experience teaching offline and online to a diverse group of students from around the world. I use my custom teaching approach to turn complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately to your art, work, and everyday life.

I'm a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and the Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome and a practicing award-winning multimedia artist. My most recent independently-produced film just won Best Animated Short at Cannes Short Film Festival thanks in part to the effectiveness of some of the creativity techniques taught in this course.

Empower yourself now by enrolling in this course and join our growing learning community and let's get started skyrocketing your creativity and boosting your influence at home and at work today.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kristen Palana

Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder


My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

I'm an award-winning artist and educator helping empower ordinary people around the globe to communicate effectively and tell their own extraordinary stories through a variety of media. I have created dynamic content for clients including UNICEF, The United Nations Population Fund, The World Food Programme, Children International, The Aid Myanmar Society, The B-52s, and The American University of Myanmar.

I have 19+ years of experience teaching digital media and creating innovative programs and courses for secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate students as well as adults and children with no formal education in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I've also been teaching tens of thousands of onl... See full profile

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1. Hello and Welcome!: My name is Kristen Polona, and I'm a multimedia artist, and I'm also a professor of digital media at the American University of Rome, where I also run its film and digital media program. I have been teaching off lines for 15 years, and I've been teaching online for about a little under a year at you, to me and on other platforms. And I really enjoy connecting with a global audience and helping people from all over the world do more extraordinary things in their daily lives. This is a really fun course for me to teach and let's get started right away. 2. Word Association and Listmaking: I in this lesson, we're going to talk about list writing now. Nothing sounds more boring than writing a list, right, but actually can be a very useful tool for getting better, more vigorous and athletic ideas, not just the old ideas that everybody's thought of. I actually have a saying with my students, and that is your first idea is usually your worst idea, and your first design is usually your worst design. This doesn't mean that you can't go and use your first idea, your first design. It just means that usually nine times out of 10 whatever pops in your head first is something that is a bit cliche, overused, or just something that many other people have also thought. So this exercise will help you to get better ideas and to get away from those stale first ideas and first designs. So one technique that I use with my students, usually before they're about to propose a final project idea whatever it is and multimedia , and I asked them. We get the room nice and quiet. We turn off all the glowing screens and they have to get three blank pieces of paper or some pages out of their notebook, and I tell them that they will be given a topic and they need to write as many words as possible that pop in their minds in a two minute period as possible. And their goal is to fill up the page. And if they stop and they think too hard, then they're doing it wrong. It's really about allowing yourself to write anything that pops in your mind, even if it's a terrible idea. Just get him all out there, and so I will have them do this. So, for example, one of them might be, I'll have my watch and I'll say, OK, everybody, I want you to write down your interests, your passions and your unique characteristics. So, for example, for me, I would write, Oh, I love to travel. I love India. I'm very short, and I'll just write all of those things that pop in my head. What makes me unique and what do I love? And so I'll say, Okay, ready, Go and then they'll go. And the best ones are the ones that are writing very fast, and I'll give them one minute warning because it goes by very quickly a 32nd warning and then boom. And then I tell them to stop, and then we go on to the next one. So we do this three times. Usually the 2nd 1 might be something like, What do you think is beautiful or visually interesting? So for me, I might say, over the color of the sky, right before a thunderstorm or, um, I don't know, jasmine flowers, flowers that have just bloomed in the spring. Anything like that. And I'll write all those words down so they'll do it. And then the 3rd 1 might be something like right, as many moods and textures that you can think of now, when my students are doing this, they don't really see how this is going to help them. But then, after they've done all three exercises and they have a look at their lists, they start to think about ways that they can incorporate some of these things into their projects. For example, I had some students who were doing a graphic design course and they had to do a promotional brochure basically touting their uniqueness and their abilities. And one of the students did this exercise and after he was done, he really zoomed in on the fact that he had a lot of freckles all over his face and what he did, he created this beautiful brochure and he basically turned his freckles into a unique page in the pamphlet. So when one, his freckles were on his face. But then on the next page, they became a blizzard, a snowstorm on the next one that became constellations. Then his freckles became connect the dot drawing ex cetera. And he had a really beautiful, unique brochure with his artwork in there. But then kind of playing on some ideas about what made him unique, and he used freckles. So give this a try. And I can almost guarantee that you will have far better ideas than if you didn't do this assignment. You'll certainly have, Ah, huge quantity of ideas that you can choose from. And the best part about this is you can always take those lists, tuck them away and pull them out again at a later date. When you have another project, you never know when they might come in handy. All right, Thanks 3. Put Your Subconscious to Work: The Power of Dreams: Hi. So in this lecture, we're going to start to talk a little bit about some of the more mystical and new A G ways that you can invigorate and jump start your creativity. So in this lesson, we're going to talk about dreams and how, actually, by not trying so hard by literally going to sleep and letting your subconscious mind do all the work, you can actually get some really beautiful amazing ideas. In fact, some of the most successful musicians, artists, writers, even researchers and scientists have reported waking up from a dream getting their very best, most groundbreaking ideas. And in fact, I have personal experience with this as well. So, um, basically, once upon a time when I moved to Rome in 2000 and six, I came because I had applied for a job at the American University of Room, and fortunately they chose me and I was able to come over here. But that's not usually how you find a job in a foreign country. Usually you have to be already in the foreign country so that you can go to interviews and etcetera. Alexandra. Well, all of this was well and good but my husband, a German, was living in. We were living in New York City area in New Jersey, Englewood, New Jersey. And he already had a really nice job in Long Island. And he didn't feel like he wanted to take that risk and come over to Rome and not have anything. So he stayed there and he decided he was going to try to find a job the way that I had found one which Waas from Englewood, New Jersey, instead of actually coming to Rome. Um, and we were a bit naive about how difficult it was for not just one, but two people a couple to come and move to room Italy and for both to be able to find good , decent paying jobs. So I started in September, teaching at the American University of Room, and he was there in Englewood, New Jersey, doing his job in finance, and we thought, OK, maybe one month, two months, and he'll be able to join me here in Rome. That, unfortunately, wasn't the case, and maybe six months went by. Seven months went by. I started to get very nervous. I thought, Oh my gosh, I quit my job at William Paterson University in New Jersey to take this job in Rome, and maybe it's not even gonna work out because my husband's not going to be able to join me here. So basically, what happened? Waas. I waas at work and I saw on the bulletin board somebody had posted a contest of video contest on the bulletin board, basically for students to enter, and it was sponsored by the United Nations World Food Program. And they wanted on upbeat video message about their walk, the world event and more about what the organization did. So I immediately got very excited because I've always wanted to do work for the U. N. Even if it was for free. And so I thought about it. But I didn't really know if I was going to enter or not. That night I went to sleep, and I had a dream that I made a video for this contest, and the main character in my dream was a little girl who was actually my inner five year old and a little girl that lived inside a drawing that was posted to a refrigerator, a child's drawing. I woke up and immediately I got my inspiration to make a video. So I normally my animations take a very long time, sometimes over a year, to get just get a few minutes together. But somehow I manage to get this video together, and I think it was three weeks, two weeks, and maybe part of the reason that I was able to do that so quickly was because I took the pressure off of myself to make everything so painterly and perfect because it was a child's drawing. Children's joins our Spain spontaneous and free. So in the back of my mind, I had remembered that my husband had applied for a couple of jobs with the U. N. Organizations Human room, and I thought, if I could win this contest, not only would I get to me real life people from the U. N. And get to work with them and put them in my resume and just have an impact, but maybe I could speak with someone and see if, you know, get a little bit of the inside scoop. So I entered, and luckily, amazingly, I won first prize in this video contest, and while I was there I said, you know, my husband was applying at the Food and Agricultural Organization, which is another organization here, and he does finance. And I wonder if you know anything about that job or other jobs that he should apply for. Well, sure enough, the director of that division said, Oh, have your husbands send me his resume. So I did, and he got a job interview. And the next time that he came to visit me in Rome, he met face to face with someone in the Finance and Accounting Division, and they hired him. And now fast forward. Eight years and we're still here, both of us gainfully employed. And it was all thanks to a dream. So before you pooh pooh the idea of dreams as being a means for creativity, I recommend you grab a notebook and pen and put it by your night stand and just write down anything that you can remember and trust me if you're one of those people that says, Oh, I don't remember my dreams, just do it anyway because even if you remember how you felt or after you woke up, so I was very anxious or oh so elated, but I can't remember what my dream was about. Just write that down. And I promise you that the more you do that, the more you will remember. And the more that you can tap into your subconscious for some amazing ideas. Okay, before I go, I just wanted to mention one more mystical thing and that IHS metaphysical properties of gemstones and rocks. This is a Lappas lazuli prized by the Egyptians. My cousin, who, when he was doing military service in Afghanistan, got this one for me, and it is said that it has metaphysical properties that will draw out your creativity. So whether you believe in that or not, you should think about grabbing some leftist lazuli. They're not very expensive. You confined them and you know some of those geology and science stores or even organic stores. Sometimes we'll have gemstones and think about having one near you. And even if you don't know if it works or not, sometimes just thinking that it might work will have a placebo effect and you will be more creative. So I hope that this lecture has inspired you. And maybe before you go on, you should take a little nap and see what ideas you get after you have a dream or two 4. Quantity Begets Quality: I in this lesson, we're going to talk about how quantity begets quality. What that means is by making lots and lots and lots of work, and many, many versions of a project you'll actually produce. Better work, more high quality work than if you were to fuss over one and really obsess over one piece of work trying to get that one perfect piece. So scientists and researchers and psychologists have done many studies and have actually found that when there were two groups, one group being the group that produces lots of work will, in this example use painters, so they created lots and lots and lots of paintings. Their only goal over two days was to create as many paintings as possible. And then there's another group where they were told to make one perfect painting. And wouldn't you know, at the end of the two days when they compared the work of the two groups, the group that did the most work actually had the best work, and the group that didn't was were the ones that set there and fussed and really stress themselves out, needlessly trying to create perfect work. So I recommend that you adopt this principle with your own stuff, whether it's your writing, music or you're writing a book or you're creating artwork, especially with my students, I always have them, for example, when they're coming up with ideas for projects to create many, many, many versions, even when they're working on the so called final project and they tell me, Oh, I'm done we'll say you done But one of you take that, save it, given a name, put it away. And then when you try changing that around a little bit, maybe move the composition a little bit. What if you add a cool color to the background, whatever it is? And so they make another version and another and another. By the way, if you do freelance artwork like I do for clients, they are going to love you. If you do this anyway, where you give them multiple versions of the same project, you're going to be giving your client several choices to choose from. And that's better for your work in terms of the final result. And it's ah, great customer relations to give your client choice, as opposed to the one image that they're paying for. So I invite you not to be so worried about what you're making but rather make many versions . And once you take a look at all of them, you will find that you have much better work. If you can try to make instead of five versions, try to make 20 versions. The more you make, the more chances you will have having a better design and a better idea. Okay, great. See you in the next lesson. 5. Reverse Psychology: NOT Trying to Think of an Idea: All right, so in this lesson, we're going to use a bit of reverse psychology. Basically, to get a brilliant idea, we're actually going to try to not think oven idea. So this is all about not trying to force an idea, not getting all stressed out and letting them naturally come. So let me tell you my story. When I was a graduate student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, of studying computer graphics and interactive media, we had three semesters to do a thesis project, and the first semester was all about coming up with an idea and then the pre production. And I really, really wanted to make something absolutely extraordinary. And as a result, I put a lot of pressure on myself and couldn't think of a new idea. So I started to get nervous because the deadline for submitting our ideas was coming up, and I came up with one sort of lame brained idea after another. And then finally my thesis advisor said, OK, look, you're trying really hard to come up with ideas, so my prescription is to not think of an idea. And so for five days, she told me she said, do whatever you want to do. But whatever you do, don't try to come up with an idea. So go out to dinner, see a show, hang out with friends, listen to music, whatever for five days and I said, Well, that's kind of funny advice, but okay, it actually sounds nice. So and of course, someone that doesn't take breaks very easily, So I could probably follow this advice right now, actually. Anyway, sure enough, I took that advice and I went to an art show maybe a day later. And it was this really unusual performance by a puppeteer who had made these amazing, intricate sets with lay color project projections and sound and told these really interesting stories. And the colors were kind of like stained glass windows. And it was theatrical and all of sudden, boom. It popped in my head that okay, I didn't have a story yet, but I knew that I wanted to create an animation and tell some kind of story that used very vibrant colors and basically used storytelling as the main medium. So then I had my medium and the way that I was gonna work, but I didn't have a story. So then the rest of this comes from a combination of having a dream, as we discussed earlier, and a real life occurrence that inspired my story. So basically, what happened? I went to bed and I had this dream that I was in India, and then all of a sudden I was woken up by a phone call and it was five oclock in the morning. And so, of course, that could have only been an emergency. So I jumped out of bed. I raced to the phone, fearing the worst that maybe was my mother or something, telling me that someone was hurt or in an accident. And I answered the phone and it turned out to be some creepy guy calling me in the middle of the night. And that actually inspired my MF a thesis animation. Five oclock shadows about the parallels between a girl living in Brooklyn, New York, being stalked by a creepy phone call person and being stalked by a mountain leopard in India. And I'll give you the link to the animations. You can see the result of all of this. So basically what I want to say is that sometimes you can't force an idea. And if that's if you've been trying and having no success, I recommend you put your stuff aside and let reverse psychology work for you trying not to think of an idea. Do something else, do the things that inspire you. Go to a movie, go hang out with friends, cook dinner, watch TV, do anything but try to force an idea. Maybe even for one or two days. Get out of your studio. Get out of your office and I can all but guarantee you that inspiration is going to strike you. Good luck. 6. Design Thinking: Introduction (*Find Resources in the Discussions Area) : okay, In this lesson, we're going to talk about something called design thinking. Design. Thinking, if you've never heard of it before, is a formal method for practical creative resolution of problems. So it's a form of solution based thinking, starting with a goal instead of solving a specific problem. So with design thinking, you are tasked with considering both present and future conditions regarding the problem, and this allows you to explore alternate solutions simultaneously. So if you are someone who likes structure and lots of guidance, you may very well love design thinking. There's actually many different kinds of design thinking. If you do a Google search right now, you'll see some free. PdF guidelines on how to do design thinking, Um, and actually this lesson is just an introduction to design thinking, because what I'd like you to do is take a look at some of the resource is so click on the resource is tab in this lesson and take your pick of some of the different ways that you can do. You can do design thinking and take a problem or situation. Let's say for an example, you're an educator and you really don't like the chaotic way that the Children come in the morning from the buses. Let's say you may start with that as your problem, and then you may imagine a future outcome like all the Children are coming in on time. Nobody's lay. It's not chaotic. Everybody's coming with an open, happy, positive mindset, ready to get started learning for the day. And then what you might do is you might empathize with all the different aspects of this problem. So the Children, the bus drivers, the teachers, the parents, etcetera, and you're going to absolutely explore every angle of the situation. And you might come up with different solutions. So it might be that the Children come on a rotating system, a different time. Intervals. It might be that they come from a slightly different route that makes more sense. With the layout of your school. It could be anything but basically, you then begin designing a solution and multiple solutions, and then you actually try creating a prototype and testing your idea. And so this was a very basic example. But this way of thinking can be applied to any industry, any problem and by following the guidelines in the resource is that I'm giving you. You have a blueprint for creating a really, um, doable action plan and coming up with really multiple creative solutions to your problem. So I encourage you to download one or more of the resource is have a look at it and grab your journal and start planning a basically defining a problem that you have and planning a creative solution to your problem that is actionable and doable. Something that you can actually tackle and hopefully solve. So, good luck with design thinking this is just the tip of the iceberg. And I would love to hear how this goes for you if you give this a try. Thank you. 7. How to Take an Ordinary Day and Make It Extraordinary: Creativity In Daily Life: all right. So this lesson is all about how to inject a bit more creativity into your everyday life. So basically, how to take an ordinary day and make it extraordinary when you think of the word creativity , What words come to mind for you. For me, I think things like fun adventure, new innovation, silly, zany or unusual. So what can we do to make our day less usual? Well, um, even if you can't go anywhere, even if you just have to go to work, let's say let's say it's not the weekend. It's Monday and we're going to work, and we're not really expecting the day to be unusual. One thing you could dio is you could try new things in old places. So you could, for example, take a different street to work or from work than you normally would. A new route that you wouldn't normally take. You could have some kind of new food at lunch that you wouldn't normally get, or that you've been dying to try and just never have cause you've been too much in your routine. You could also talk to someone that you normally wouldn't. You could tell the cashier in the grocery store. How beautiful her necklaces when you normally wouldn't something unusual you could also, if you normally eat lunch at your desk, which sometimes I dio you could go for a walk in the park. Instead, do something new in an old place that you wouldn't normally dio. Another way that you can make your day more creative is by being more playful. What does this mean? That doesn't mean all of a sudden jumping on your desk and playing, Simon says with your coworkers. That's an American game, by the way, Um, or maybe British, too. But you could consider bringing toys to your desk. So a little bobble head of your favorite TV show or rock star on your desk or some other little office toy, like those little balls that click clack back and forth, something fun that's within your range of vision that you're going to see while you're doing your work. Of course, you should also have photos of your loved ones, maybe a calendar that speaks to your passions upon the wall. Or, if you don't want to bring toys, you could consider injecting a bit of color into your life. So if you normally are surrounded by beige walls, ah, brown desk and I don't know a gray filing cabinet, try putting some colorful magnets up where a colorful scarf or funny tie Bright orange shoe laces are a favorite amongst um, my mail art professor friends, um, just something a little bit unexpected and vibrant. One thing that I do with my kids is I might do something completely unusual, like just out of the blue. I may serve them dessert first instead of their main course dinner. Or if I'm giving little avocado slices, I may cut little smiley faces into them. Now you're probably rolling your eyes. But by injecting a bit of surprise and fun into your day, you not only lift your own spirits, you lift the spirits of everyone around you. Another thing you could dio is you could plan something for the future. Look forward to something so even if you're stuck and it's a Tuesday and it's a you're in the middle of doing some Boring Outcomes assessment report, you could start to plan something for the weekend. You could find an event of festival or a location like a park in your city or town that you've never been to and plan a trip for the weekend. You could also plan to eat at a new restaurant you've never been to, or you could try an unusual recipe with ingredients that you already have at home that you would have never of the wife's tried. You could also learn a new skill. Try reading a book on something you are dying to learn about or taken online class kind like this one. But there's also free and paid online classes all over the place. Just type in a subject that maybe you know nothing about but you think is really intriguing . Even if it's, I don't know, skydiving or something weird. Go for it. Okay, finally, we've talked about planning for the future. Let's talk about living in the present. So another way to make your boring day extraordinary is to breathe. Be in the now, spend a few minutes without any glowing screen in front of you and really intensely be mindful. Noticed the stones on the sidewalk and the sound of your footsteps as you're walking along . Look at the flowers blooming on the tree, the texture of a freshly painted blue shutter that's on somebody's window, the dog wagging its tail that you, um, basically see the world come alive. As you are in the present, you'll notice that colors suddenly become brighter. Sounds become more clear. Textures are more distinct. Don't force yourself to do this for more than a couple of minutes, but notice during those few minutes how amazing the world is. Also, be careful that you don't accidentally step in dog poop as you're walking on the sidewalk or walking into oncoming traffic, because that will certainly hurt your newfound intercom. So try one or all of these things and find your ordinary day and see it become more extraordinary. The more you do these things, the more exciting your days will be. All right. Good luck. 8. Creative Visulazation and More Resources for Designing Your Life: okay, in this lesson, I'm going to talk to you about one of my very favorite means of creativity. And that is something called creative visualization. Now, I don't normally use this one so much for coming up with ideas as much as I use it for creating the life that I want to lead lead. So if you think of your life as a blank canvas and you are the painter, then it's only logical then that you would decide what you're going to put on that canvas. So that's sort of what this is all about. It's a slightly woo, so forgive me if you're not in any way New Agey, but I have been using this since I was 20 and I won't tell you how old I am now, but it's, ah, complete life changer, and I've taught my husband of very traditional German who is not the kind of person you would think would do. Create a visualization. And I've even started teaching my five year old and my three year old how this works. So when I was 20 I was in University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Little plug there great school only state art school in the entire country, by the way, and I stumbled across a book called Creative Visualization by Shock T Go in and you can actually find it used on Amazon for just a couple of U. S dollars. So check it out. And basically this book taught me about creative visualization. What to do? So this is what you have to do. Basically, you can grab a journal or a piece of paper and write down what you want in your life as if it's already happening in the present. And this is very important trying to use positive language as much as possible. So, for example, I might write something down like I am a successful university professor are making a huge difference in people's lives every day. And my students are having fun. They're learning and I don't know, blah, blah, blah fill in the blank. So that could be some A work related one, for example. Or I could say, I'm traveling all over the world to many exciting exotic destinations. Um, with plenty of resource is money and, um, opportunities or a might write that I'm getting married to my soul mate by the sea in a beautiful setting with all our family and friends, etcetera. You can be as goofy as I am, or you could be more straight laced and analytical. But you just write down what you would like as if it's already happening in the present, and then you put it away and that's it. You don't have to actually do anything else. They're actually many ways to do this kind of creative visualization. But the way that I started out doing it was I would do a list, usually on my birthday or something, and then I would put it away. Maybe once in a while I would take it out and read it. But then you put it away and then have a look at that list, maybe 6 to 12 months later, and you would be absolutely amazed how many things on your list will come true. Now some people will do something called a vision board, so instead of writing it down, they'll cut out pictures of things they want. It could be, I don't know, your dream house. Some people might put a car and there could be a dream job or even, um, I don't know, like being close to a turquoise body of water. Whatever it ISS don't worry about being greedy. Don't worry about being shallow. Just put whatever it is that your heart desires. Don't judge yourself and put it on there so it could be a vision board or something visual or could be a list and other variations of this. Besides, just putting it away could be that you look at your list every day and listen to really exciting, invigorating music that lifts up your spirits and your emotion. And again, just watch and see all the ways that these different things come to you. You have to also be observant and noticed when opportunities come to you. Finally, another variation of this is something I call the wish list. And that is you. Just write down everything that you want to do in your life and put one big list. And don't worry about how weird or farfetched it is. So you could put something a simple as learning how to cook, traveling to India, going on a safari in Africa, helping people all over the world through volunteer work, whatever it is and again, this is another one where you have to be observant and just watch and wait for little weird opportunities to come to you that will allow you to tick things off of your list. The combination of creative visualization and a wish list has given me an amazing life that I could have only dreamed about 20 years ago. And, um, not to brag, but I'm very happy with how things have gone. I've had a chance to travel. I've become, ah, college professor, creating art and design. I've had my animation shown in film festivals, and none of this would have happened if I hadn't written it all down and created a positive mindset that any of this was even possible for me. So before you poo poo the idea, just give it a try and watch your dreams come true through creative visualization. All right, good luck 9. Extra: 5 Easy & Free Tools That Will Free Your Creative Soul: Hey there. So hopefully you're starting to get more and more ideas and ways to kind of break through your creative block. But one of the very best ways is to just start making stuff using free software, free tools, free images, free video and pre music. Because if you are just sitting around staring at a blank screen or a blank canvas waiting for an idea that's gonna freeze you up. But if you start at least thinking about Oh, I want to do something with animals and you start looking at pictures with animals or start working with templates, etcetera, and you start putting something together, you're gonna get ideas as you're working. One of my very best creativity boosting techniques is going toe one of my sources for free images, music and videos for your project. I will give you the link to this block post on my website, and I will talk to you a little bit more about copyright law and what you can and cannot do when using other people's images. But I have here the whole list of places where you can get free creative Commons images that you can start working with as a base. So some people, maybe we'll take a picture of a rocket ship and start tracing over it and throw out the original photograph in Boom, you have an illustration. Other people want to make photo collages, or they want to go into a free program like Can Va and put images together, maybe even ones that you took right. So there's all kinds of places where you can get free professionally shot photographs and illustrations. Uh, online. So this is my big list. There's also an area if you are someone who wants to play around with video, our animation. There's places where you can get free royalty, free music and sound effects that you can put together either in an audio project or as the soundtrack for a video. Our animation that you're making. And then you also can use free videos. Many of you maybe want to make a website, or you've seen websites that have video backgrounds. These are great places to get free, professionally shot video that you can use in your website projects, but also in your video and animation project. So I highly recommend just browsing this resource and then let me show you. So this is, ah, glug that I have with my students in Yangon, their secondary students at Talon International School. And here's just four samples these air grades Ah, six through 11. And many of them have absolutely zero design or our experience and what we did in the classes. I had them go to those websites, find an animal of their choice. And then we brought the photo in a free program called gimp, which you can download for free. I'll only building for you, and then they brought in their photo. And then they used the drawing tools in gimp in a different layer to trace over. The photo made their little tweaks here and there, and then they threw out the original photo and they were left with different kinds of illustrations. So these are for just a different example. So some just did a black and way drawing like this one with the elephant, and she really played around with the different thicknesses of lines to get those wrinkles in the skin. And then others were kind of more colorful, more blocky. The student used a big fat brush, almost like a paintbrush to draw around a dog, and you can actually see remnants of the original photograph in the background here. So that's another way that you can start making stuff without worrying so much that you're completely on your own. So my other suggestion are going to a great website such as canvas. I'm already logged in. Chan va dot com is a great website because they give you all kinds of templates. So if you don't have an idea you can borrow, you can borrow an idea and just start putting in your own text in your own words. So if we were going to make a Facebook cover, for example, and just, for example, that gives you all kinds of kinds of templates, obviously you want to use the free ones and less pay to use it. But let's say I don't know. We choose one of these right? So can Va gives you a template, and then you anything you quick gun you're going to get, uh, you're gonna get settings for. So flip this. You can change the position. Usually I start with the text, so anything I click on allows me to click on the text and I can change the fund if I want to the colors, etcetera. I apologize because I don't have so much time to go into every single program I want to show you. But I just wanna, um, give you a taste of all the free tools out there where you can use templates to get started . So I wanted to change the image. Ah, in 10. But you have the elements section over here. And if I wanted a picture of a tree, iCal has all kinds of free photos and graphics here. So if I wanted to and bring this in here, surely right. With photos, you can replace this photo with something else. Okay, So anyway, it lets you drag in any photos that you want. And, of course, if you have your own photo, you just upload on image. There is of some of my students from Mendel A in Inler mentally teaching a social, of course, and there we are. Right. So anyway, just to an example in canvas, obviously then when I'm happy with this can go and I can download it and use it anywhere I want. That's just can va. Uh, I have a full course on this, by the way, I should mention, But you don't need a full course to get started, right? There's other kinds of tools besides can Va. So if you want to make a website, there's wicks dot com, which also is very easy and intuitive. You just go in and I'm obviously I'm logged in. But you go in and you can create a new site. And you just say, What kind of sight do you want to make templates for portfolio on CV? No, it'll actually make one for you, but if you choose a template, it's the same thing as can Va. You just go in. Let's say Let's say like this one, you just go in and you start editing. All right, so here's my Templin. It same thing. Um, and there's ah, bunch of help videos. Toe will be with me if you get confused. Anything, just like in Camba G. And anything. I select have settings, writes congee. Um, I can change my funds, the color richies. So we have that I can change pictures if I want to change image so anything right click on it gives me settings for have a bunch of money images in here already, But you have the same option and wit when I wanted to say, Is that basically Wicks, just like Can va gives you free images that you can use from input did Ah, there it is. So I know it seems a bit overwhelming just coming in here and starting off, but basically, that's how it works. You can click on anything, start changing it. You have buttons, um, up the top. Here you have pages. So right now we're on the home page with manage pages and there's actually a resume page. When I click on it, I am taken to the resume page and edit that as well. I can get rid of pages or add my own. And then when I'm done, I can preview my website and publish my website, and this is all for free. So that as the world's quickest introduction toe with, uh, yet again, I'll just say it once. I don't have to say it for each example, but I have a course, a larger course for every single one of these tools that I'm gonna show you. But anyway, so that's weeks, man. What else did I want to show you? I wanted to show you, uh, power tune. So platoon is just like can va, just like Wicks. I'm not going to get into it here. But you sign up, you go in and you have templates, and then you just swap the stuff around. You can have your own animations. You can put your home music in. Ah, you can write the text and determine the story. And if you follow a template, it's much easier than if you're just trying to do everything from scratch. So there's Pau tune, okay. And then there's stencil. And so one thing I like about this one is you just grab in the image, whatever you like text here, which light if it's gonna be on a dark background. But then the thing I like about stencil it's just like can va But they have a bunch of quotes here. Broom creativity is a gift. It doesn't come through if the air is cluttered. John Lennon. Thank you. So anyway, you can well stuck around, but it just makes it really easy. Teoh Macon Inspiring quote that you can share on social media that took me, what, two minutes? And then you basically can download it or share it right on social media. So that's that. So there's a bunch of free tools that you can start using right away. Plus, you know where to get free images, free videos and cream music. So now you really have no excuse. So if you still are not feeling creative, then maybe you should just not worry about it and just start making stuff instead and see that helps give you it. All right. I hope this helps see you in the next lesson. 10. Extra: Using a Sketchbook and Turning Stress Into Creativity: Hi, everybody from Malawi. Um, I'm not having the best camera today. I don't have the camera person on my microphone set up the way I would like, but I wanted to make this lesson even though it's not perfect just to, uh, share a little bit about using a sketchbook and how important a sketchbook can be for your creative process. So don't look at me anymore. You can look at one of my sketchbooks. I've been keeping sketchbooks for many years, ever since I was a teen, actually, and you might see some people online have really beautiful, polished sketchbooks with really intricate, um, artworks inside. You could absolutely go crazy and have all kinds of things in your sketchbook. But I think the best sketchbooks are the ones where you don't put that much pressure on yourself. So you see, actually, on the left are all kinds of little ideas for cartoons, and I check them off of a actually made a cartoon out of them. So I started a little over a year ago. A series called out their doodles, and they were meant to just be sort of quick and dirty because I tend to do a lot of animations that take years. And so I wanted to create something that just took an hour and basically is a cartoon journal of life abroad in different countries. Anyway, so you can use a sketchbook just to jog. Any old idea that comes in your head, you can also do quotes. And then, as you can see here, these are rough drafts for what later became more polished cartoons that I would then digitize on the computer and oh, yeah, let me just walk you through it. So you have a shout out to Riverside are in Somerset, Massachusetts, which is the next town over when I go visit family in the U. S. Beautiful, um, store with lots of art supplies. But you don't need ah, special sketchbook. Any notebook will do. You'll see that sometimes. Ah, you know, I abandon ideas, and that's perfectly fine. And the's are again just too rough drafts. I'm not gonna spend too much time on each page. If you want to see finished cartoons that can drop you the link. But yeah, so you see, sometimes there are false starts, which is perfectly fine. A lot of times even the ones that become a, um, a polished animation sigh Polished comic. Um, I may change things in later drafts. So these air really just very rock not meant for other people to see, but I'm sharing with you, But anyway, so there you don't, um And what I would recommend to is, besides just doing rough drafts of projects in here, which can easily be changed later. Don't be afraid to scribble things out. Don't be afraid to, um, you know, if you see something in a magazine that's interesting or a picture you can put it in almost like a scrapbook. Um, you can also, some of these I never made. And it's interesting, because now I'm actually drawing the first draft on the computer just to save a little bit of time. So my ideas are even more rough because I'm not going to trace right over them. It's just kind of a reference for me to look at when im drying on the computer. But everyone's process is different. So some people, you know want to do a lot of stuff offline. Maybe they never do anything on the computer and other people like me I find I actually prefer drawing on the computer. So thats ones to political. I probably won't make that one, but anyway, so there you go. Um, I also recommend inspiring quotes. Or let's say you're reading a book and there's like a really interesting passage. Here's uninterested one. So this is when I started and then this was sort of the second draft. And then there's a final draft which became a more polished cartoon, and this one, I think, is lame. So I never made this one. I just couldn't get the idea down. So sometimes you'll see I cross things out, changed the words around tryto simplify a little bit Any Sesame Street fans here. Sometimes I feel like Bert in a world full of Ernie's. Oh, yeah, all right. And yeah, And then I went to the US over Christmas and this were my impressions, and I never made actual cartoons, polished cartoons that I published from lease. Same here. Why? This was sort of ah predicting the current situation, wasn't it? Or emergency preparedness around the world in this anyway, so you get the idea. But these were just not funny to other people. These were hilarious to me. And then I'd show them, you know, like to my creativity group and it just kind of get a a right I knew what I wanted to say and, yeah, just couldn't quite get it. And actually, I kept trying. It was this idea of, you know, making fun of people who do anti ageing and later let's see if I can find the the one that finally became the final one. Hold on, German resting face. That's my husband. I love Germans. I married one and gave birth to two. So sorry if I have offended anyone, ever set this one. So this one actually became a polished cartoon. So this one came from five other, slightly less funny drafts. Um, and it's just, you know, about the Grim Reaper, letting her know that he can help her stop each. Anyway, I hope this is helpful. I hope you will start a sketchbook or a notebook, and remember, anything goes. You can put color in it. You can use colored pencils, cut things out, collage stick figures, just even if you're more of a wordy person. Just put a bunch of words in there. It's all good. It's all good. Okay? And as you see now, doing all this thing things related to the current situation, how to stay positive during a pandemic. All right. Hope you're well. I hope you can forgive the, um, rough nature of this video. Thanks, guys. Stay safe. What? Take care. 11. Extra: Utilize Time to Make Better Designs -Case Study (In Photoshop): Hey there. I hope all is well with you. So I wanted to in this lesson, talk a little bit about how sometimes the very best thing that you can do for your designs and illustrations is walk away and come back another time. What does that mean? Basically, I've found I mean, everybody's different. Some people work fast. Some people work slow these air. I'm actually showing you two illustrations that I made yesterday. And I've been making these Tom being illustrations now for like, eight months. So I tend to understand my process a bit better now. And one thing I've noticed is that even when I have crazy, tight deadlines, um, I find that if I begin on illustration and ah, try to finish the same day, even if you know, like, let's say it's been like two hours on this one and two hours on that one, and I want to call them done for the day. I mean, I could call them down. I could just be like, Yeah, these are done. I'm just a bit fussy and for me that they're not done because, um, you know, they may seem okay the day that I do them. But then inevitably, every time I look at them the next day, I'm like, Oh, no, I need to add another layer of color. I need to do this. I need to do that. So, 11 of the best things you can do for your designs, even the ones where you set a timer and, you know, maybe only give yourself 30 minutes or an hour in my case, maybe two hours. What I recommend is come back to it the next day or a week later, whenever and just have a look again and see if there's anything that you want to do. Of course, I have to say that I always have different versions of these saved with a different number , so that if I overdo it, which I am prone to dio, I could just go back to the last saved version. And if you no harm done right, this actually goes back to when I was a painter, you know, without a computer, I would often have maybe five paintings going at the same time. And then on any given week, I would kind of cycle between them, So maybe a work on this, you know, one or two and then the next day and made turnover toe another come back to the 1st 1 So this kind of forces you not to be so precious with just one image. It allows you to kind of look at things with fresh eyes. And usually the work is going to come out better, whether it's a painting or a digital painting, whatever it iss. All right, so I hope that makes sense. And no, I'm going to do. And now I'm gonna do time lapse and just show you how I add another layer to these and then maybe they'll be done when I'm done. I don't know. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow I'll look at them again. I mean, the problem is, of course, is when is an actual painting done right? I think it was Pablo Picasso. Somebody asked him this question and he said, How do you know in lovemaking is done? I can't say I've had such a climactic moment in my illustrating life. Like, Yes, it's Darden. But, you know, you get the idea, right? So I guess for Picasso, it was really obvious when his work was done But for the rest of us, um, you may say yes, it's done. Or it may be like, you know, the next day you revisit again or you revisited again a year later, or five years later. I'm still working on stuff that I started, like, 10 years ago. Um, because, you know, you look at it with fresh eyes. All right? I'm gonna go and tidy these two up and help. This was helpful to see you in the next lesson. 12. Bye and Thanks!: Hey, congratulations. You made it to the end of the course. I hope you've enjoyed it. Please, if you have a moment, if you wouldn't mind leaving some feedback in the form of a review, that would be wonderful. It's incredibly helpful for students who are wondering if this might be a good course for them. All right, Thank you so much for taking this course. Take care, but by