Photograph-Inspired Creativity Prompt

Muse (myooz):

a source of pondering, absorption, thought, reflection, or inspiration that leads to the creation of art

If history is any indication, muses are often people. Artists have long been known to find specific sources of inspiration and create numerous works from that space. Unbeknownst to a lot of us, though, The Muse does not have to be confined to any singular anything outside of ourselves.

In fact, renowned artist Frida Kahlo is known to have said, “I am my own muse. The subject I know best.” Her works were primarily self-portraits, wherein she transformed the tremendous suffering she endured in life to Mexican folk art-inspired, vibrant color. Kahlo’s story highlights a very real truth: that, in the search for sources of inspiration, there is no confinement.

Sometimes, the source is outside of us, coaxing what wants to emerge. However, expression can also be a retelling, a setting free.

So, I have for us a creativity prompt inspired by a photograph. I like this exercise, because pictures can serve as a great baseline for creation. Everything is already laid out for you!

Of course, while I did intend for this prompt to be a visual one, I recognize that what comes out of you may be of a different medium. Please! Go with what feels right! Here’s what we do.

Photograph-Inspired Creativity Prompt:

Pick out a photograph that creatively draws you.

[Flowers are my muse, so mine is the picture above, which I took about a year ago by a lake.]

Now, recreate that photograph! You might sketch it gently first, and then paint or draw over. Or, you might dive right in with force.

Note: you can stick to what is already captured (as I kind of did), or you can veer in your own direction. Here, I used oil pastels, but this does not have to be your choice. You know best what draws you.

Here is my creation:

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