Jon Burgerman is a whimsical artist, author, and self-described “doodler” who maintains a sense of wonder and play to inform the work he creates. In his new class on Skillshare, Jon shares six quirky exercises from his new book, It’s Great to Create: 101 Fun Creative Exercises for Everyone, that are sure to help anyone kickstart their artistic process and keep those all-important creative juices flowing.

If you’re looking for a little extra inspiration or want to be introduced to Jon’s zany style, you’re in luck! Jon was generous enough to share three bonus exercise excerpts from his fun new book that you can replicate anywhere or anytime you need extra pep in your creative step. Follow the simple instructions below, let loose, and have fun! You’ll be on your way to creating quirky new work in no time.

Create A Pocket ‘Zine

Tear off a few sheets of paper and fold them together to make a small pocket booklet.

Jon Burgerman's Pocket 'Zine
Jon Burgerman’s Pocket ‘Zine

Throughout the day draw diary entries as you see and do stuff. Once you’ve filled up the pages, you’ll have a little document of your day.


To me, drawing something as it’s actually happening feels a little like gonzo journalism (see Hunter S. Thompson). It makes me more focused during the day as I think about what I’m going to document in my pocket ‘zine

Art by Jon Burgerman
Art by Jon Burgerman

It also keeps me entertained during stressful or boring situations.

Art by Jon Burgerman
Art by Jon Burgerman

The Whole Hole

Fold a piece of paper and cut out a shape.

What are you left with? What have you made?

 What does the paper reveal and what does it conceal?

Art by Jon Burgerman
Art by Jon Burgerman

Try it with a variety of colored papers and experience what Henri Matisse called “cutting directly into color” and “drawing with scissors.”

Art by Jon Burgerman
Art by Jon Burgerman

Texture Mapping

Borrow a texture from anywhere around you by using a simple cutout mask.


Bricks, grates, fences, brushes, mud, concrete – almost anything around you can be used.


Want to keep playing, creating, and getting inspired? Check more of Jon Burgerman’s mind-expanding creative exercises in his new class, Creative Exercises: 6 Prompts to Jumpstart Your Next Project, now on Skillshare.

Written by:

Rachel Gorman