Keep Your Creativity Primed

1. Believe you’re creative. Give yourself pep talks. “Today I feel creative—something will come to me.”

2. Exercise your body. I like to cite a study in which elementary school students were given math problems. Half of the group exercised intensely before attempting to solve the problems. The other half just sat around. Guess who solved the problems more successfully?

3. Be alert to problems and think of ways to fix them. One little part of the solution could lead you in a whole new direction. Also, look for several solutions to the same problem.

4. Put ideas into action. If you think of an answer, then do it or write it down.

5. Use humor. Put your personality into a piece—and don’t be afraid to make something personal or unusual.

6. Surprise yourself and other people. Unexpected “twists” (items, angles, etc.) in a painting make it interesting.

Hugh Greer is the author of Acrylic Landscape Painting Techniques (North Light Books) and the self-published Missouri to New Mexico. In 2003 he won the grand prize at Arts for the Parks, and in 2002 he won Region III’s top award at the same competition. He’s represented by American Legacy Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri; Courtyard Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas; and Wadle Galleries Ltd. in Santa Fe, New Mexico. To see more of his work, visit

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