After deliberating for some time, I finally decided what my first blog of the year would be. My MadLibs Creative Prompts! It’s such a perfect topic since taking time to reflect on the process at the end of the year will be so interesting too.
The concept of "Sketching Daily" meets drawing prompts
To start off, let me introduce you to the concept. Each day, I sketch. I started sketching daily because I wanted to grow my skill set at drawing. I continue to sketch every day because I find a lot of peace when I take this time for myself. I also find it to be such a joy to take a moment to dive into my creative pool and swim around. When I sketch daily, my creative library only grows. For more on The Art of Sketching Daily , read here.
When sketching, I usually come up with drawing ideas or a subject matter that I want to improve upon; however, I wanted a new challenge for 2023. A challenge that would push my creative concepts and be a bit uncomfortable at times. Cause hey, we grow the most when we step outside of our box. My idea then was to ask my followers (over on Instagram and Facebook) to contribute drawing prompts via a MadLibs style. I began by only asking for NOUNS. Then, I asked for VERBS and JOBS (just because I thought it would be funny to give nouns jobs).
Some of the graphics I used on social media
Creating the drawing prompts
The idea behind this exercise is to keep these drawing and creative prompts random. To ensure that they remained so, I used a free “spin a wheel” program online for a random selection. With 2 prompts a month, I opted to always have one prompt be a noun + verb combo and the other a noun + job combo. And ohhh boy, did these get weird. I’m still trying to figure out how to make some of these prompts into illustrations! Check out this prompt list for the year! There are for sure some wild and crazy ones.
We are still in the very early stages of this process. So far, I am not looking too far ahead and just trying to focus on the prompts for the month we are in. Once I am ready to begin, I take time to sketch out the idea in my sketchbook and to create thumbnails. I have also done some creative journaling (writing stories) around the prompt. While I am sketching, I think about the story behind the prompt. For example, the first prompt was “Glamping Cardinal” and I had to determine if this was a Cardinal who was glamping, or a camper named The Cardinal. I ended up settling on a different concept and titled the painting “I Wish I Were Glamping”. It was fun to work through the creative process like this.
With each creation, I challenge myself to step outside of what is comfortable (i.e. oil painting) and to not think about “will this sell”. The objective of these prompts is to have fun. It’s to spread joy in myself and in others. And in the end, it’s about trying new things and getting a bit weird.
With each prompt, I also record the process and edit the video content which I share on my YouTube Channel, subscribe here.
Takeaway at the end of the first month
We are nearing the end of the first month, I have created, published, and made the video content for “I Wish I Were Glamping” and I am almost finished with the second prompt “Firefly Vet Tech”. I know that as I get into busier months, this may become a bigger challenge. Right now, I am really enjoying the process. I love looking at these drawing prompts and coming up with a story. As an artist who shares their work, I find it paramount that I am vulnerable with people. That sounds weird, I know! As social media has seeped into many aspects of our lives, I find it more important than ever to be as authentic as I can. To me this means, sharing it all – even when I know it isn’t my best work and I want to hide it in a dark hole. We are all on our own journey and being authentic about where I am TODAY will prove how much I have grown TOMORROW.
I invite anyone and everyone to join this challenge! All ages and any creative medium is welcome. If you choose to participate, please know you can do this at your leisure. If you share on social media, I would love to see what you come up with. To make sure that I don't miss it, please give me a tag @AbigailEmmertArt and use the hashtag: #MadLibsAEA2023