A Year’s Worth of Creative Prompts

JournalPromptsA

No matter what kind of visual artist you might be, sooner or later, you’ll need a little nudge to help you create. Many artists use prompts of one kind or another, to help spark their next idea.

I’ve used the same basic list of prompts for many years, in a variety of creative groups, adapting it to the calendar and the group’s needs. This is the same list that produced the prompts that are currently delivered daily to the gluebooks group on Yahoo, but they work equally well for art journaling, photography, drawing and painting.

Use these prompts daily, or just when you need a little push. Use today’s prompt, or scroll through the list until something gets your wheels turning. Use them to challenge yourself to do one piece a day for a month. Whatever works for you is fine.

January

  1. First, beginning, start
  2. Believe
  3. Numbers
  4. Doors & windows
  5. Taste
  6. Mosaics
  7. Circles
  8. Junk mail
  9. Yesterday
  10. Postage stamps
  11. Eyes
  12. Hands
  13. Stripes
  14. The colors of the rainbow
  15. Half or halfway
  16. Round
  17. Newspaper
  18. Flowers
  19. Up
  20. Down
  21. Square
  22. Sun
  23. Wonder
  24. Moon
  25. Wet
  26. Stars
  27. Woven or weaving
  28. Signs
  29. Food
  30. Broken
  31. Last, end, final
February

  1. Dreams
  2. Leaves
  3. Black & white
  4. Smile
  5. Music
  6. Animals
  7. Keys
  8. Cars
  9. Vision
  10. Trees
  11. Time
  12. Love
  13. Words
  14. Light
  15. Failure
  16. Laughter
  17. Sports
  18. Fashion
  19. Ethnic, ethnicities
  20. Stairways
  21. Streets & roads
  22. Archways
  23. Clouds
  24. Go, going
  25. Stop
  26. Toys
  27. Candy
  28. Change
  29. Courage

JournalPromptsB

March

  1. Writing, text
  2. Poetry
  3. Computers
  4. communication
  5. Body, bodies
  6. Day & night
  7. Past
  8. Mystery
  9. Water
  10. Books
  11. Shoes
  12. Makeup, making up
  13. Friendship
  14. Weather
  15. Beach
  16. Mountains
  17. Rain
  18. Joy
  19. Youth
  20. Old age
  21. Truth
  22. Dawn
  23. Travel, traveling
  24. Fragile, fragility
  25. Money
  26. Room, rooms
  27. Big
  28. Small
  29. Counting
  30. Sweet, sweets
  31. Grandeur
April

April’s prompts are all about you. You might use these for an “all about me” gluebook or journal, or as inspiration for a set of pieces or photographs.

  1. Your name
  2. Your eyes
  3. Your hair
  4. Your body shape
  5. Your generation
  6. Your family
  7. Your hands
  8. Your view from a window
  9. Your greatest happiness
  10. Your greatest saddness
  11. Your car
  12. Your favorite food
  13. Your best friend
  14. Your worst habit
  15. Your best attribute
  16. Your spare time
  17. Your profession
  18. Your ideal destination
  19. Your favorite season
  20. Your secret wish
  21. Your favorite quote
  22. Your special place
  23. Your daily uniform
  24. Your collections
  25. Your secret vice
  26. Your art
  27. Your role model
  28. Your doodles
  29. Your favorite song
  30. Your future

JournalPromptsC

May

May’s prompts are all oxymorons.

  1. Adult children
  2. Artificial intelligence
  3. Barely dresed
  4. Bigger half
  5. Blind eye
  6. Business casual
  7. Casual chic
  8. Clear as mud
  9. Classic rock & roll
  10. Countless numbers
  11. Creative destruction
  12. Daily special
  13. Deliberate mistake
  14. Dollar value
  15. Domestic bliss
  16. Dull roar
  17. Eloquent silence
  18. Even odds
  19. Express mail
  20. Extra money
  21. Fast food
  22. Fighting for peace
  23. Flying fish
  24. Free gift
  25. Freezer burn
  26. Genuine fake
  27. Giant dwarf
  28. Going nowhere
  29. Graphic language
  30. Half empty
  31. Accidentally on purpose
June

June’s prompts are all color based.

  1. Red
  2. Yellow
  3. Pink
  4. Orange
  5. Aqua
  6. Ochre
  7. Green
  8. Lavender
  9. Blue
  10. Violet
  11. Black
  12. Silver
  13. Grey
  14. Ivory
  15. Sepia
  16. Chocolate
  17. Rust
  18. Magenta
  19. Tan
  20. Copper
  21. White
  22. Neon green
  23. Periwinkle blue
  24. Green & purple
  25. Red, white & blue
  26. Pink, yellow & orange
  27. Blue & green
  28. Rose
  29. Crystal clear
  30. Blue & white

JournalPromptsD

July

July’s prompts are all about the alphabet and numbers.

  1. Alphabet, alphabetical
  2. A
  3. B
  4. C
  5. D
  6. E
  7. F
  8. G
  9. H
  10. I
  11. J
  12. K
  13. L
  14. M
  15. N
  16. O
  17. P
  18. Q
  19. R
  20. S
  21. T
  22. U
  23. V
  24. W
  25. X
  26. Y
  27. Z
  28. Numbers
  29. 1 2 3
  30. Zero
  31. What time is it?
August

August’s prompts are all about summer.

  1. The smells of summer
  2. The sounds of summer
  3. The sights of summer
  4. The tastes of summer
  5. Hot!
  6. Don’t go in the water
  7. Tan, don’t burn
  8. Summer love
  9. Swim suit weather
  10. Take the plunge
  11. Catching fire flies
  12. Family reunion
  13. On the grill
  14. At the beach
  15. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
  16. Lemonade stand
  17. Come on in, the water’s fine
  18. Star gazing
  19. Sun block
  20. The boys of summer
  21. Tree house
  22. Under water
  23. Bathing beauties
  24. Vacation
  25. Road trip
  26. Relax
  27. Party
  28. Short shorts
  29. Dog days of summer
  30. The last day of August

JournalPromptsE

September

The prompts for September are all about you.

  1. Self-portrait
  2. Something you’re really good at
  3. Something you’re really bad at
  4. Your biggest virtue
  5. Your secret (or not so secret) vice
  6. The thing that makes you happiest
  7. The thing that makes you saddest
  8. Your number one pet peeve
  9. What do you do when you’re bored?
  10. What about you is contagious?
  11. What do you find hard to throw away?
  12. What do you dream about?
  13. Your favorite decade
  14. What do you do to unwind?
  15. Exercise. Do you or don’t you?
  16. Something you overheard
  17. Your most embarrassing moment
  18. Things that make you laugh
  19. What things do you juggle in your life?
  20. Are you an innie or an outie?
  21. Projects you haven’t finished
  22. Your favorite saying
  23. What would be torture to you?
  24. What amazes you?
  25. What do you admire?
  26. What comes naturally to you?
  27. Places that illustrate your life
  28. Your favorite flavor
  29. Your favorite sound
  30. What would you like people to say about you when you’ve gone?
October

October’s prompts are all about autumn.

  1. Changing seasons
  2. Indian summer
  3. Getting colder
  4. Apples
  5. Falling leaves
  6. Red, orange & yellow
  7. Into the woods
  8. Crisp & cold
  9. Flying south
  10. Nuts
  11. The smells of Autumn
  12. Scarecrows
  13. Harvest moon
  14. Melancholy
  15. Wind
  16. Plenty
  17. Cinnamon
  18. Fire
  19. Crow
  20. Colorful
  21. Desolate
  22. Bare branches
  23. Wooly & warm
  24. Frost
  25. Gloves
  26. Memories
  27. Pumpkins
  28. Ghosts
  29. Haunted
  30. Scary
  31. Halloween

JournalPromptsF

November

November’s prompts are all oxymorons.

  1. Larger half
  2. War games
  3. Junk food
  4. Necessary evil
  5. Midnight sun
  6. Mannish woman
  7. New & improved
  8. Oddly appropriate
  9. Once again
  10. Passive aggression
  11. Perfectly ridiculous
  12. Politely insulting
  13. Positively wrong
  14. Pretty bad
  15. Quick fix
  16. Quiet riot
  17. Real phony
  18. Recent history
  19. Rush hour
  20. Same difference
  21. Second best
  22. Serious fun
  23. Simple plan
  24. Single copy
  25. Small fortune
  26. Sun shower
  27. Terribly good
  28. Thinking out loud
  29. Tremendously small
  30. Well-preserved ruins
December

December’s prompts are all about winter. Sort of.

  1. Baby, it’s cold outside
  2. No two alike
  3. Blanketed in white
  4. Better inside than out
  5. Cold hands, warm heart
  6. Arctic blast
  7. Chill out!
  8. A gift
  9. The weather outside is frightful
  10. Children once again
  11. A brrrrrand new day
  12. Mother Nature at her lovliest
  13. Snow much fun
  14. Northern exposure
  15. The abominable snowman
  16. Absolutely beautiful
  17. All bundled up
  18. A chill in the air
  19. The ice man cometh
  20. Without winter, there is no spring
  21. It’s a little flaky here
  22. May we never forget the flavor of snowflakes
  23. Dashing through the snow
  24. Digging out
  25. Memories keep us warm
  26. The fire is so delightful
  27. First snow
  28. Snow angels
  29. Winter blues
  30. Winter wonderland
  31. Starting over
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