Get Creative with Art Prompts for Mixed Media

January is the time when most of us like to clear the decks and make a fresh start. After celebrating the holidays or even just being busy during the making/selling season, it's nice to take a hot beverage into the studio and ponder what to do next.

mixed media collage
Inspiring Word Bird by Ann Ellis.

But what happens when inspiration eludes you or you have a lot of ideas but don't know where to start?

That's why you should reach for your handy list of art prompts. And please don't use the excuse that you don't have a handy list, because Belinda Spiwak pulled together 52 art prompts (one for every week in the year) and provided them in the January/February issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.

What's more, you can download a PDF of them right here on the Cloth Paper Scissors community. Print it out, cut out each prompt, and put them in an inspiration jar. Then pull out one each week, or whenever your muse is elusive.

To get you started, I've listed 10 of my favorite mixed-media art prompts from that list here.

1. Write a list of simple but inspiring words (ie., alive, balance, courage, enough, mindful, play, story, trust), cut them up, and put them in a cup. Write a list of colors, cut them up, and put them in a second cup. Pick one paper from each cup to kick-start your next project.

2. Create your own collections of embellishments or collage images based on themes (like hand-drawn birds, shoes, or houses) that are important to you. Store your embellishments in your studio for a future creative project.

3. Start cleaning or organizing your studio space. You may get distracted with an ah-ha moment as you find supplies that you forgot you had, and then cleaning is replaced with creativity!

4. Use headlines and images from the newspaper to spark ideas for a quick drawing.

5. Work monochromatically in acrylic paint.

6. Find inspiration in your kitchen. Grab a handful of items from your fridge, drawers, and cupboards to use as tools or supplies in an impromptu collage.

7. Paint using unconventional items as your brush, such as a tree bough, a paper bag, a comb, etc.

8. Start with a dark background and use white paint or white materials to create your focal image(s).

9. Spend 60 minutes painting backgrounds.

10. Combine two or more of your never-used-before mixed-media supplies in an art piece.

Frankly, my mind is already whirling with ideas to try. But I have an additional suggestion for when you get stuck: download a Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM  video on a mixed-media subject that's new to you. It's quick, easy, and will get you inspired and expanding your art skills in no time.

Do you have a favorite art prompt or a creative way to use prompts? Don't keep it to yourself! Share in the comments section below.

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