F. S. from San Diego, California asked, "I’m interested in finding some games that will help me build my creativity. Do you have any suggestions?"

Dear F,

Games are an excellent way to build your creative skills while having some fun. Creativity is the same as any other skill…Practice! Practice! Practice! Even though we’d really like to bypass the process of building skills, it’s important and imperative to practice them.

The first game is an experiment with waiting. The goal is to write a story. The challenge is to write the story over a period of time. On day one, you are only allowed to write one sentence. On day two, you will re-read what you wrote the previous day and write a second sentence. On day three, you will re-read what you wrote the two previous days and write a third sentence. Continue on until the story is complete. During the time between writing each sentence, your challenge is to think about the story and allow several ideas to flow. Don’t take the first thing that comes to you, but let that one rest and rethink the entire scenario. You will be surprised at how many ideas will come from just one or two sentences. The next month, you can start with the same sentence and create a different ending to the same beginning. Consciously note how the waiting between sentences affects your decisions in the creative process.

The second game will help you decrease a dependency on specific senses. So often, we rely on one specific sense which diminishes the other senses. Grab some modeling clay, close your eyes, and create something. Have something in mind before you begin, but do it all with your eyes closed. You can do the same thing with finger paints or crayons to draw a picture, wire to make a sculpture, or colored paper and glue to make a collage. It will test your skills with color design and spatial perspectives without relying on your eyes.

A third idea would be to use a sense that normally is not used in combination with another. Turn on some music and paint to the music. Allow the rhythm and tone of the music to help you decide what color and movements to use as you paint. Try not to be in control of the painting…just let it flow.

Even if the medium suggested here is not your favorite with which to create, the process will expand your creativity. It may not be comfortable at first, but give it a whirl. Be creative in your quest for creativity!

Thanks for asking!  Lynnette Schuepbach

Lynnette is an author/illustrator who sees creativity in every aspect of life. To find out more about her and creativity, visit her Web site KidsDoRead.com.  Her children’s books create curiosity in children and speak to sibling rivalry and bullying.

Lynnette serves as chair of Art in the Park on the second weekend of October at the Lindendale Park in Highland. Many local artists will be exhibiting there. It’s her pleasure to be a part of this opportunity for you to experience “World Class Art in a Hometown Atmosphere.” More info at www.highlandartscouncil.org.

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