Simple, Fun Exercises to Enhance Your Creativity

Creativity is an innate gift we all possess (some have more than others) but, with the proper environment including training, it can be enhanced – much like an athlete or musician must practice to achieve a high level of talent.

Here are two of the most popular exercises to boost their creativity.

  • Have someone create a few scribbles for you. How would you create each into a masterpiece? (Hint: It can be realistic or abstract; in creative pursuits, there are no failures. A few days later, go back to the original scribble and see if you have any new, more creative ideas for your work of art.)
  • How many alternate ways can you use a paper clip?  Here are a few suggestions to get your juices flowing: as an earring, a hook for a Christmas ornament, and a tool to clean under your fingernails.  Challenge yourself to come up with five to ten more.

Here is an exercise that I use in my classes on creativity.

  • Sherwin-Williams has developed some new paint colors and has hired you to name them.  Create two new names for each of these colors: black, white, grey, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. (I provide my names at the end of this article – no peeking!)

These come from a terrific book called the Wisdom of Curiosity. My suggestion is to do them with your children or grandchildren and notice the similarities and differences among your responses and theirs.  Hopefully, you will learn to become more playful, imaginative, uninhibited like the kids – all things that experts agree will enhance your creativity even further. 

  • What if you could make up a holiday? What would you call it? How would you celebrate? What foods would you eat? What would you wear?
  • How would you design your own personal flag? What colors, images, or words would you choose and why?
  • What if a Martian invited itself to your family dinner? What would it observe? How would it react? What messages would it bring back to Mars about Earthlings?

Here are my paint chips names. Black: Country Coffee Pot and Iron Ore; white: Sea Salt and Polar Bear; grey: Mother of Pearl and Koala; brown: Hamster and Bourbon and Branch; red: Northern Cardinal and Fruit Punch; orange: Mango Magic and Copper Penny; yellow: Spicy Mustard and Roaring Fire; blue: Ocean Air and Delphinium; green: The Hulk and Herb Garden; and purple: Professor Plum and Red Cabbage.

Being creative is invigorating, no?!! Creative thinking has benefits in making workplace decisions, doing arts of all kinds including interior decorating, and even assembling dinner from leftovers in the refrigerator. So have fun and reap the rewards.

Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates. Learn more about her decorating, downsizing, decluttering and home décor sewing services, decorating workshops, and quilt programs and shows at and enjoy her art quilts on Instagram @secretaryinteriordecorating. You can reach her at 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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