Creative toolkit

Creative toolkit - student project

Hopefully you can excuse the poorly made scribbles! Using my old Samsung tablet on this one, and it lags. 

There are a few things that really resonated with me in this course and I've found it very helpful. As someone who struggles with not only the usual artists blocks, but also mental health issues (hello brain fog)which causes huge productivity hurdles, I found the saying "quantity over quality" a huge motivator. Being creative and being an artist makes us exercise our creative muscles, and the more pressure you put on yourself, the easier it is to procrastinate. So, like a certain fitness brand says - *just do it* All movement is good movement. All drawings are good drawings. It's the process that counts.

So the first challenge Juxtaposition:

I had a lot of fun with this one, and probably have found it the most helpful creative toolkit of them all! 


First word combination: 



  1. Mixed media artwork - creating your own reality - using landscape photography collage together with gouache illustrative painting. 
  2. Attempting photorealism - could do still life drawings of different singular objects - fruit, flowers, feathers
  3. Photorealism oil paint miniatures - portraying up close textured skin
  4. Creating small polaroid-like paintings/drawings of everyday memories
  5. Utilizing the millions of pictures I have taken of my phone and creating artwork based on them
  6. Vintage photography - using old photos as references to create coloured,painted versions
  7. Still life paintings of different cameras 
  8. Using film photography as a source of inspiration - for example, creating specific colour palettes based on vintage film photography
  9. Using photography to make prints by the tracing on plastic screen technique (I saw this on Skillshare a while back and have yet to try it out!)
  10. Self portrait - mixing painted version of oneself and the photography version
  11. Kind of a footnote on the above, it would be interesting to play on the idea of filters and photo manipulation. For example, drawing on the same beauty edits that we normally see on Instagram. We do this daily with the pictures we take, how does it look when we do this with "manual" tools? Does it answer the question of how we all are silly to exaggerate certain features to pursue a certain beauty standard?


I'll most certainly use this tool when feeling stuck creatively - I'm still surprised at how I could almost feel the cogs turning. At first you think it's impossible to conjure 5,suddenly you have all 10 ideas on the page! I think it's a fabulous warm up for any practice.


Now,for the second tool I tried - problem tree

I decided to use this time to try to brainstorm my biggest Achille's heel - the constant creative block (we're deferring judgment here, so it's scribbly)


I found this one harder to do. But I'll trial it with different ideas and see how it goes - I do feel like my mind is a lot clearer and there's an instinctive drive to think of ways to resolve the problem, as it's simple and clearer to see. Go away creative block,no one likes you.


Now,off to try the third creative toolkit - lotus blossom. 

This one is more of a colourful blob in my interpretation. I tried mind mapping one of the ideas I've been trying to work on - creating and illustrating a children's book. 

I found this really refreshing. It helps you ask a lot of questions - how do you create something that correctly targets the demographic, what are the obstacles. For this specifically, how does one create something which will promote reading and learning to younger kids, whilst still being fun, inclusive and perhaps combining something with the new medium - digital content? Can we create something which has digital content available as an addition, to encourage children to learn and research more? How do you adapt that to different age groups (toddlers, pre-school, pre-teens)? How to make it accesible to everyone?

I normally struggle with other types of mind mapping excercises but this really was quite fun and I can't wait to explore it a lot more.


These definitely were my favourite takeaways from the course, and I'll certainly revisit it whenever I feel stuck. Thank you Esteban for this - it's been a joy to watch and super encouraging to pick up the pencil and keep drawing,creating,doing!

On a side note, total Jim Halpert/Office vibes - in a good way of course. You make this process fun!