Garr's Creative Prompt Idea Generator

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Every artist or writer at one time or another experiences a temporary creative “block,” or just can't get motivated to start a new creative work. Creative prompts are a powerful tool to generate ideas to help overcome a block, or simply to fire-up creativity.

Some surrealist artists wrote stream-of-consciousness sentences (they called it “automatic writing”) — the resulting subconscious imagery sparked ideas that sometimes led them to surprising creative breakthroughs in their art.

Writers such as William S. Burroughs also used similar techniques to develop and stimulate their writing. To help inspire his imagist works, Burroughs used the cut-up method invented by avant-garde artists in the 1920s. This is a manual process, in which imagist words or phrases are written on slips of paper, and then a few are chosen at random to provide ideas to drive inspiration and motivation.

The Problem with Other Random Sentence Generators

A true creative prompt that will stimulate artistic creativity requires a sentence with strong images, combined in unusual and idea-triggering ways.

Garr discovered that none of the random sentence generators on the internet do this!

Either their sentences are too natural and logical, or they just give random, but specific, suggestions for something to paint. In either case, because of their lack of imagery, or imagery that's far too specific, they don't encourage artistic creativity or spawn original ideas from the recesses of your subconscious!

Why Our Creative Prompt Generator is Better...

To overcome this problem, Garr wrote his own program to generate random, dream-like imagist sentences that contain imagery strong enough to work as a creative prompt for the development of art or poetry. In addition, the generated random ideas are surrealistic enough not to force you to think about a specific scenario.

To add an extra layer of idea generation, each sentence also has a title.

Garr (Garry Musgrave) has used this tool himself to generate ideas for some of his surrealist paintings, which you can see here: Garr's Portfolio of Digital Paintings.

This free creative prompt generator relies on a special set of words and phrases allowing it to randomly choose the following parts of speech: adverbs, prepositions, nouns (inanimate and animate), present participles (for both inanimate and animate nouns), verbs (for both inanimate and animate nouns), and adjectives (for both inanimate and animate nouns).

Each of these vocabulary lists has been carefully crafted by Garr to contain words that are the most likely to trigger distinct images in the reader's mind, and to inspire artistic ideas — in the same way that imagist writing or poetry does.

Garr's sentence generator program randomly pulls these components together, matching the modifiers to the noun type, then adds some secret sauce. The result is a random imagist sentence that will work as a creative prompt to inspire you. Have fun, get some creative ideas, and find your artistic motivation...

Your generated creative prompt will appear here...

INSTRUCTIONS: Click/tap the “Generate” button to get a new creative prompt and title.

IMPORTANT: the components of these sentences are selected at random, and are specifically designed by Garr to be non-sensical — they are constructed to trigger powerful mental images to help inspire your artistic creativity with new ideas.

Creative inspiration cannot happen if the idea sentence is reasonable, and makes perfect sense.

Equally, if the prompt sentence suggests a specific scenario, no matter how oddly juxtaposed, it forces you to think of just this one possibility. “Paint a policeman in an alpine meadow” — now that's pretty much all you can think about! You're unlikely to come up with your own original concept.

It's vital that the random idea sentence be made up of several powerful, clashing, and incongruent images that trigger random, possibly unconnected, mental imagery that lead you to an original art idea or concept.

Not every sentence will work for you... but you can get a new one each time you click/tap the “Generate” button.

HINTS: Sometimes, the title is more inspiring of an idea than the imagist sentence itself!

Often, only a part of the sentence gets your creative juices flowing.

All or part of a randomly generated sentence (even a couple of words that have been juxtaposed in an unusual way) might trigger an idea that leads you in another direction altogether.

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