Play with the Unexpected

Let’s have some fun today!dog on dancing cat edited

Let’s play!

I love giving this age group (10-16 years) a prompt like this.  You absolutely never know what will come out.

I want to encourage freedom and creativity in my students’ artwork.  That’s the whole purpose of this Creativity Series, to have students push themselves past what is comfortable.  I want them to try new things, experiment.


  • stick to 3 magazine images
  • put your images in an unexpected or unusual setting/background


  • sketchbook
  • oil pastels
  • magazines
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • colored pencils

The guidelines and materials were a bit fluid.  I let them push the boundaries or switch up the materials.  The idea is to scaffold their creativity.  To give them structure that they can build off of.  The Art of Education recently had a article on How to Kill Creativity in the Classroom.  It talks about how Art Educators may use the word “no” too readily and by doing so we stifle student creativity.  This was a project where I could say “yes” instead of “no” and that is the best part of this project.


We started out with the images.  I encouraged them to slow down and find just a few images they could use.

looking at magazines

They played with placing images together as they searched.

testing cat on ostrich

dog on dancing cat

Once their images were selected the had to decide on the background.  If they needed prompting, I encouraged them to come up with an unexpected background.

One student started out with a fun project but because I knew the student I pushed her to try another project where the images interacted more with each other and the background.  Here they are next to each other..

cat turkey

eating an egg muffin

I love how this student’s strength really shined with this project.  But the best part was the look on his face as he came up with ideas.  He sat looking around with bright eyes and a sly smile on his face.  It was like you could see his mind going a million miles a minute.

flying dog close up

This is another student who’s strengths came out.  Though I encouraged a light hearted quicker project, in fact several students were able to complete 2 projects, this student took it further.  She used her images to create a very detailed story through image.  Here’s just a peek since she is finishing this up on her own.

Mushroom close up

Loved letting them loose to be silly and have some fun!

Cats dreaming of foodeating an egg muffin


pig to the rescue


cat turkey


birds on buildingcats on road

elephant turkey



flying dog close up

How about you?  Do you ever create just to have Fun?


Welcome to my adventures in teaching Art outside of the public school system. I’ll share our projects and challenge myself and you to continually improve. So glad you stopped by!

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