Sunday, November 5, 2023

Creativity is waiting...


The less creative you feel the closer you are to feeling creative again.

Creativity is waiting...let it in.

-- doug smith

Monday, October 30, 2023

Art At Its Best

Art at its best creates possibilities previously undiscovered.

-- doug smith

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Stir Up The Drama

Drama enters upon our own invitation.

It is not inevitable. It is not automatic.

When we are creating an improvised scene, the most sure way of adding interest is to add drama thru conflict.

Say yes, of course, that's a rule in improv. But also say no. No to giving others in the scene exactly what they want because the scene needs drama. Just like in a game, in drama not everyone wins.

-- doug smith

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Creative Assignment


Create a work of art, in any medium (such as an acting scene, a song, a collage, a drawing, a poem -- you get the idea) based on this quote:

The only limits to love are the limits we impose from fear.

-- doug smith

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Buckle Up


Sketch: thru-line by doug smith

The imagination likes to dare you to go deeper. Go ahead, but buckle-up.

-- doug smith

Monday, August 21, 2023

Always the Choice

Lust lives with despair. Passion falls to circumstance.

Love seeks to understand but it does not despair when it does not.

-- doug smith

Sunday, August 20, 2023


Focus on the moment and it will hold you in awe.

-- doug smith


Sunday, July 9, 2023

Scene Prompt: From a Quote


1. Share the quote

2. Build your scene based on the quote.

Here's the quote:

When people play emotional games make sure that they don't cheat.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Scene Prompt: The Auction

An auction for an obscure work of art. Several casual bidders but two who are deadly serious. Each of the two simple MUST win the auction.


Monday, July 3, 2023

Scene Prompt: Interior Design for Big Big Meals

View the collage below, Interior Design for Big Big Meals, and then improvise a scene that occurs within this picture.

Scene Prompt

Stuck? Consider the following:

  • What if the food is much larger than usual?
  • Who would be the most unexpected guest?
  • Is BBQ an option?

collage: Interior Design for Big Big Meals by douglas brent smith

Monday, June 5, 2023

Picture This: Pathways


photo by doug smith

Did you choose your pathway or did your pathway choose you?

Have you ever jumped from one pathway to another?

I became curiously aware of how pathways can be taken for granted or unusually challenging one day when Judi and I were walking in Deep Cut Gardens in New Jersey. We wanted to take advantage of beautiful weather and wander among many varieties of plants. It's a large garden. There is more than one way to navigate its many twists and turns. As it turns out, most of those pathways are challenging for someone with joint pain. As we grow older, the joints call attention to themselves. Those knees! Those hips! Those (yes even those) ankles!

Fortunately, I am blessed with unusually great health and while my knees will mindfully remind me that pick-up basketball is a sport from my past, and now a current avocation, I do not feel restricted or limited much. I walk, and I walk, and I can walk about all day even with hills and narrow stones to walk on. 

Judi, facing knee replacement surgery, is not so nimble on narrow pathways. We did our best to stay on level ground and avoid stone steps, but it was still a challenge. It slowed me down enough to appreciate each step even more. 

We take so much for granted on our current pathways. Slowing down to see more clearly is more blessing than limitation. It is indeed, all good.

Picture This (writing prompt)

1. Find a random picture.

2. Write non-stop for 5 minutes and only 5 minutes.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Draw a map

Draw a map


Improv Activity:

  1. Draw a map. Pay no attention to accuracy, simply represent some area with your own original map.
  2. Write three lines describing your map.
  3. Next Level: Improvise a scene based on your map, or, write a short piece (poem, story, description) based on your map.
Materials Needed:
  • Paper and pen or something else to construct your map.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Keep Going

Challenges? Of course! Problems? Everywhere! Improvisation gives you and advantage: you can think on your feet in the moment, fearlessly. Creativity gives you an edge -- what you try that doesn't fly shows you a better way to get by.

Don't stop creating until you stop breathing. 

Don't stop improvising until you die.

Keep the fun alive.

-- doug smith

A Better Strategy - collage by doug smith


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Stay Creative

Staying creative opens more possibilities.

-- doug smith

Monday, April 24, 2023

Don't Knock the Blocks

It's awkward to experience a creative block when you need to create on the spot. It feels like driving an old country winding road on a dark night when your headlights suddenly go out. Not fun. Scary, even. 

Ah, but sometimes creativity feels like that. Sometimes improvisation feels less than automatic. Should we keep driving, or stop in our tracks?

Maybe coast? What drives you, what guides you is still there. As long as we put in the hours and work the practice, our practice will kick in and get us going. Don't knock the blocks, they are there to build on.

Creative break-thru come after creative blocks.

And -- those creative break-thru are sweet indeed.

-- doug smith


The Actor Contemplates

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Simple Math

Find the place where you are the most creative and spend much more time there.

-- doug smith

Pin Cushion Theory of Evolution

Saturday, April 22, 2023

secret blessing

What bothers you can also make you more creative. 

It's a push (and sometimes a shove)! It's a moment of inspiration! It's a call to do


Think about something that you find utterly aggravating. Now, write for two minutes on what to do about that.

-- doug smith  

Friday, April 21, 2023

sing that song

sing that song

 Some people sing fantastically. Some people do not think that they can sing at all. If you have a voice, you can sing. If you allow yourself to find that voice and sing from your heart (and from your toes) it will not matter that you do not sound like someone else you'd consider a great singer. You sound like yourself. You sound great.

Can you improve? Of course!

Should you ever stop singing? No!

What could be a faster path to creativity than singing?

No one else can sing your song for you. Sing!

-- doug smith

Thursday, April 20, 2023


Some people fear the creative impulse because it might produce work that breaks something. 

I think that we can relax on that.

Creativity never breaks anything. Breaking creativity breaks everything.

-- doug smith 

cartoon by doug smith

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Develop Creativity...

One of my favorite questions is "how do you develop creativity?" because there are so many answers. Here's my favorite answer: 

Developing creativity is easy -- just start creating and never stop.

Make sense? Feel right? Try it!

-- doug smith

Drawings by doug smith

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


If you want to be useful, create. If you want to be valued, create. If you want to be happy, create.

-- doug smith

collage by doug smith


Monday, April 17, 2023

Enjoy the process

It's not always what you create that matters -- it's the joy of that creative process.

-- doug smith


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Use that...

Every once in a while, sometimes when we least expect it, we get sad.

It could have a cause, or it could feel random. It's not fun, either way. But we don't have to let sadness have the last say.

Take your sadness and turn it into something creative.

See what happens...

-- doug smith


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Creativity is amusing...

To resist creativity is to prove its need.

Push back, or not. Resist, or not. 

What is your most creative way of amusing yourself? Could you do that now?

Creativity is amusing yourself at its best.

-- doug smith

doug sings

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Creative Writing Exercise

  1. Save your most recent grocery list. It must be yours sand contain several items.
  2. Write about your list, item by item. What does each item mean to you.
  3. Write about what each item says about the world.
  4. Close with three questions for reflection.
  5. Reflect.

  -- doug smith

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

when you stall you fall...

There is no creative justification for not being creative.

If you wait, you're late. If you stall, you fall. Put pen to paper, put paint to canvas, put needle to fabric, put hammer to nail -- create.

"What if it's not good?"

"Of course it won't be good at first. Start, revise, let it fly..."

"Let it fly?"


There is no excuse you should buy, no reason you should accept, no rejection you should take too seriously. There is no creative or non-creative justification for not being creative. You already are.

Get busy.

-- doug smith

Monday, April 10, 2023

Don't Wait

Don't wait for creativity -- create something and spark your own creativity.

-- doug smith

sketch by doug smith


Sunday, April 9, 2023

Not the same



"Madness likes to call itself creative, but that doesn't mean that it is."

-- doug smith


1. Draw a picture. Keep drawing until you fill the page, no matter what develops.

2. Say something about it in one sentence.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Writing Prompt: Alphabet Soup (Collage)


collage by douglas brent smith

Writing prompt: write a story using alphabet soup.

Alphabet Soup Story - collage by douglas brent smith

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Spontaneous Drawing

spontaneous drawing

Do you still doodle?

You can probably remember a time in your life when you doodled a lot. Sometimes we draw less as we get older. It happens, but it doesn't HAVE to happen. We can keep drawing. We can keep sketching. And, when we do it fuels our creativity.

Try bringing that same spirit of improvisation to some random, spontaneous drawing. it doesn't have to be good (although it might be!) -- it just has to flow.

This is sa drawing I made in 1976. I'm fairly certain, although that was a long time ago, that I drew it in one sitting, without doing anything else. 

Remember, it doesn't need to be great art to help your creativity. 

-- doug smith


Thursday, February 23, 2023

the vanity stage


photo: doug smith

What is your version of the room where it happens?

Is your creative space suitably creative?

Or, to be fair, is every place your creative space?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Drawing: Street Scene Purple


Drawing: Street Scene Purple

Drawing: Street Scene Purple, by douglas brent smith

from Journal #7, The Eclectic Trance Dance, 1974

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Work with that

Imagine. Believe. Breathe. Start: it is OK to be exactly who you are.

Who are you? 

Work with that.

-- doug smith

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Urban Prompt

You've been asked to design a city. Why does it look like and what is it like to live there?

- doug smith


Monday, January 30, 2023

Say it

If the whole world had to listen to you talk for one hour, what would you say?

-- doug smith


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Start Now

If you were asked to do a one-person show, how would you begin?

- doug smith