So you know those times when you just have to come up with something, but your artist’s switch is off? You know, deadline soon, last minute redesign, school project with a really stupid prompt? I think I’ve got a real simple solution to this;
Let your brain wander. If it wants to, don’t fight it, the old “Don’t think about monsters” is a self-defeating mission; instead, let it go where it wants while keeping the task at hand in the back of your mind. I find that with a wandering mind you can come up with some ideas just as great as with a focused one; you may even make connections you wouldn’t have consciously noticed that could spark an idea.
And here’s an example: About a week ago, I decided that I was going to get off my butt and finally design the starfish monsters for Cauldron. I decided to start with brittle star. Try to weasel my way out, “nope, you’re gonna draw this.” In the end I came out with a really cool design; starting with a prompt as simple as “make a brittle star monster,” I somehow ended up with an abominable semivertebrate desert hydra. It went something like this: (Behold, a glimpse into the mind of an artist! *Disclaimer: Lightbulb Stew holds no reponsibility for sanity loss as a result of viewing their brains.)
- Make a brittle star monster.
- Don’t feel like it, wanna think about dinosaurs.
- I wonder how long snakes have been around?
- If other reptiles are any indication, they must’ve been like land serpents.
- ‘Serpent star’ is another name for a ‘brittle star’
- I’ll put it in that sand ocean and give it snakes for arms.
- Starfish can regenerate their arms, so that would mean it can regenerate its heads.
- Hydras can regenerate extra heads.
- Wait, there are already starfish that have branching arms.
- And it’s a type of brittle star…
Plus, since it has a little brain in each head, the arms can still move if severed and the star itself gets smarter the more heads it has. All that from not feeling like starfish. (And in ten easy steps!) Hopefully, your brains work the same way.