What is Imaginative and Creative Drawing?

There's a reason that being an artist is a challenge to both the skills and effort you put into your craft, but this can be a significant hurdle for some when it comes to imaginative and creative drawing. While some skills can be learned, what are the two internal abilities that allow the creative process to flow? Making great art depends on these two essential factors?

Imaginative and Creative Drawing

Imaginative Drawing
Imaginative Drawing

The human brain is so complex that scientists are still having trouble determining where imagination and creative ability are understood. Some might say that these two abilities are interpretations from the brain to translate what is put onto paper and canvas. Another explanation has emerged, claiming that imagination and creativity are two separate forms of thinking.

This guide will cover how these two mental skills can be combined and mixed to enhance your artwork even further. Just as great writers commonly experience ‘writer's block,' the ability to tap into a part of the human mind that isn't a practical skill can often completely stop artwork from becoming extraordinary. But why does it flow like water with some who often show no practical or critical thinking skills?

Not to compare apples to oranges once again, the simple fact that both are essentially tree-bearing fruit may make most people scratch their heads. And if the concept of perspective' sounds even more cryptic, it will make better sense after you learn about the link that separates these two odd-fellow neighbors of the mind.

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What is Imaginative Drawing?

Let's start with a little bit of science and what the experts have to say about imagination. When it comes to science, answers to the mysteries of life can be based on solid facts and mathematical equations. But there is one aspect that most scientists don't want to admit when it comes to questioning a significant aspect of these theories. This comes down to a specific word that every small child will ask.

This question is “Why,” and for some reason, is shaken off. With an answer that will perplex many who aren't satisfied by the answer that's being given. 

We as humans are curious about everything that we see or read, so the question of why will be a normal response when something just doesn't add up. When a child asks why the sky is blue, we may answer this based on fundamental scientific theory.

But when an adult asks how the universe was created, that will include new theories that require imagination. So, you can see where the starting point for an excellent scientific argument starts with asking why. This is also part of a writing process that includes who, what, where, when, and why… Of course, the why' is not only speculative until you offer some reasonable proof and is the combination of truth and reasonable doubt that's added to a personal opinion.

This is not always a welcome premise when it relates to artistic imagination since you can't paint the sky purple and green unless there's a viable reason. Many artists will draw and paint their impression of images based on interpretation and personal opinion. In this case, this is either accepted by others or shrugged off as artistic imagination since art is often subjective to what reality actually is showing.

What is Creative Drawing?

Creative Drawing
Creative Drawing

Creative drawing is also a deep-rooted function of the human brain that operates differently from the mind. Creativity is not exclusively clever, which is a part of the practical portion of thinking. Creativity starts with looking at a process typically followed in a practical method but is carried out using a method that's considered outside the box. It's merely a matter of looking at a problem from a different angle to find a solution.

Creativity is not easy to achieve for many people and may happen in rare moments where the thought process requires more than the practical solution. Big companies have special departments that dedicate their time to brainstorming sessions. To give you an idea of how hard it is to have an original idea is clearly a sign of a lack of creativity. It's also linked to education and the increasing dominance over controlling creative thinking.

Creative thinkers are like artists in their unobstructed view of the world and are rare in the corporate world. For those involved in the art world, this is another area dominated by completely uncreative people who use art as a business platform. One look at a creative drawing immediately allows a viewer to know right away that it's a creative and original drawing. Yet this isn't always the case, as you'll find…

How to Draw From Imagination?

Without getting into a sensitive area for most artists, it's essential to bring up the value of imagination. Drawing from imagination is not the same as drawing from memory. This is repeating a mental picture that is identical to what you already see like everyone else. Drawing from imagination is something Walt Disney did from his recollection of his vision of Vintage America could have been.

The first illusion you are given when you enter Main Street USA at any Disney park in the US is a perfect example of drawing from imagination. It's simply not reality as we see every day and used every trick in the book to fool your senses whether you accept it or not. The representation of something taken from memory is enhanced on version 2.0 that's never been seen before.

That's why drawing from your imagination includes elements that enhance visual aspects and reminders that don't stand out from a simple reproduction of what actually was. The term Imagineer' was coined by Disney, among other things, to celebrate his carefully picked team of artists who could use imagination in their rendered drawings. In reality, an Imagineer is not just an artist by trade [https://www.afar.com/magazine/coolest-travel-jobs-what-its-like-to-be-a-disney-imagineer] but a combination of skills that are learned.

What Are Examples of Imaginative Drawing?

Imaginative drawing is a method that will involve using a combination of drawing skills to create an image that features something different than average drawings. These drawings aren't just from memory, but a more profound sense of memory taken from many things you recall as memory. It can include the ripples of the ocean seen at night that remind you of the wrinkles on a blanket or bedspread.

The fine line of remembering something that reminds you of something else plays a big part in imagination and imaginative drawing. Just as our mind is designed to find similar shapes in patterns, it doesn't take too long to see faces forming in random textures for some people. This is also called Pareidolia and was considered at one time to be a mental disorder by the so-called experts.

We recall images and objects from memory in a similar way to convert an image into a smiley face. Imaginative drawing takes the best of your memories and recreates these images into a whole new version of what you remember. Not only does this create a fresh perspective of what you recall something to look like, but it also gives that mental image a new reality of what an idealistic version of that memory should be.

How Do You Draw an Imaginative Drawing?

Why does this notion send chills down your spine when it comes to recreating a memory from your imagination? It might interest you to know that seeing Cinderella's castle in the distance walking down Main Street USA isn't freaky enough. But once again, this is part of a carefully planned illusion that somehow tells you that you're about to enter a whole new world at the end of that street!

Imaginative drawings start with that premise and never let you go, grabbing your attention along the way. This method of drawing adds elements of what could be rather than what we're accustomed to seeing. It's an attractive representation of reality that essentially sells your picture using a mental image. Architectural designers who create dramatic illustrations to sell their building concepts draw on their imagination skills to the best effect.

These drawings don't always fall under the fantasy and sci-fi world theme but are idealistic views of your imagination as you would like to see it. This can be as wacky as placing iconic images of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge alongside the entrance to the Egyptian Pyramids. Your imagination is rewarded with additional questions as to what the meaning could be and supports a level of creativity that might offend just as many art critics.

The point is that imaginative drawing is a two-way street that doesn't always need to make practical sense.

Creative Drawing

You can't always consider what many artists and writers have relied on for help to get the creative juices flowing. The downside results from negative repercussions that don't end well for those who wend over the deep end. Horror writer Stephen King eventually gave up drinking and drugs, which was a significant problem in his writing career. Some famous artists who became addicts eventually suffered the worst fates.

Creative drawing is all about emotion and bringing up memories that stick with you for good and bad reasons. This is why you have a more challenging time remembering memories that weren't significant such as taking out the garbage or raking front yard leaves. Think of the inspirational memories that help unlock more questions about why this memory was so important. Write these down on paper and create a Pros and Cons column to build a creative case.

Just like any other decision you make, you need to decide what you consider creative. If the Pros outweigh the Cons, you've got a strong case already. If you have more Cons listed, you will have a great starting point to argue another angle you haven't considered yet. Getting creative also means looking at an issue from emotions that could be even stronger than your desire to make a creative drawing.

This helps build emotional creativity that can further shape a drawing since it makes you feel these emotions rather than the memory itself.

Creative Images

Creative drawing is hard to channel if you don't know where to look for inspiration. Some actors go above and beyond their call of duty to find emotion by listening to songs that trigger memories. Many artists also choose to read fascinating books that bring your visual imagination to full bloom. I like to bring up the best option, which is a collection of inspirational images that help motivate you to that place you want to recreate.

Collect any images that you find appropriate for the type of drawing that you want to focus on. Find obscure angles and images that are eye-catching and make you feel something emotionally. In a nutshell, you create a scrapbook of all the elements that you best recall about something you want to draw. It's a healthier alternative that naturally brings out your interest without overly enhanced methods or addictive substances.

These scrapbooks are also an excellent reference for other projects and should not be shared with anyone else. These reference pictures are your resource guide to get into character without much effort and can be spoiled by others. It's bad enough that they could add their impression of what your vision includes. Allow your customized creative image picture book to contain raw emotions that only you understand.

Examples of Creative Artists

Every artist has their method for inspiration and creativity, but here are two primary artists who were incredibly creative in methods you wouldn't expect.

• Banksy

Banksy is best known for making graffiti into art, but the controversy over his artistic ability might be directly from being known as a bandit artist. He knew that leaving his art on walls was a crime, and he knew he could get caught. Even years after coming out and proclaiming he did these paintings, it came after years of becoming famous for this misdemeanor. After this, it became more challenging to stage impromptu reveals.

His inspiration came from the thrill of getting caught or the notion of getting away with the crime itself. The rush of knowing that being busted for painting in the middle of the night, somewhere in a city hell, was his inspiration to get more creative later in life. Click here for more information.

• H.R. Giger

Hans Rudy Giger was a natural talent that could bring out disturbing emotions in his drawings and paintings. Despite being a heroin addict for many decades, he also used his childhood memories to fuel his fear of death. His paintings revolve around the cycle of life and death using the skills he learned as an architectural designer. The darkness of his paintings reflects the security that allowed him to live within a lifelong womb.

Even his bedroom had no windows and was continually a dark place where he could retreat and feel safe.

How Can Drawings Be Creative?

What you consider creative will always be a big question if you have to ask yourself if it's creative enough. The answer comes from the evidence you collect along the way and supports your reasoning for why it's creative. Drawings are always creative when they use emotion to convey your message. Drawings disturbing to you are also creative since they touch a nerve that has emotionally triggered you.

Putting a message into your picture that only you can see is a sign of creativity that gives you satisfaction somehow. It also allows you to pay homage to something that inspires you to include this in your drawing or painting. The last example is a memory that you recall which is different than most people remember. Small details count for a lot, so telling a story within your picture is always highly creative.

Examples of Imaginative and Creative Drawing

Most of the ideas that will be an endless source of pondering for you- is including seemingly random or absurd ideas that only a child would imagine. Children have great ideas for being creative because they haven't learned to unlearn this skill. It's true! A child will imagine Cartoon Cat holding a bouquet of flowers rather than balloons. It's from a child's gesture to make this frightening image friendlier that makes it genuinely creative.

Exceptional examples of creativity and imagination come from unexpected reasoning, such as an endless maze within an anthill's entrance. You know that a maze has an entrance and exit, so where does the exit end up? Other examples come from your interpretations of poems or popular expressions but are not limited to songs you like. Use your creativity to recall images you've grown up with but have never visited.

These places must look like in reality where your imagination can take over and create something totally different.

What Does Creativity Mean?

Your first step into creativity is going to require you to keep an open mind at all times. I recommend that raw emotion is the easiest way to tap into creativity, but inspiration can be a slow buildup if you prefer pictures, reading, or music to give you motivation. Don't try to force being creative since it doesn't work this way. Once you finally get creative, it tends to work like carefully stacked dominoes.

Once the first domino is tipped over, the rest will follow until you reach a point where you might come to an end. Imaginative, and creative drawing also includes if your concentration is broken. To keep this going, you need to allow these feelings and emotions to guide your creativity. If you get stumped, you can take a break using any elements that can help get you back into the mood for continuing your creativity.

Create Art With My Favourite Drawing Resources

General Drawing Courses. I like Udemy if you want to develop your knowledge of drawing techniques. Udemy is an excellent choice due to its wide range of creative courses and excellent refund policy. They often have monthly discounts for new customers, which you can check here. Use my link.

Sketching and Collage. Take a look at this sketching resource I have created. Use this link.

Proko. Is one of my favorite teachers who surpasses in the teaching of Anatomy and Figure drawing. Prokos course breaks down the drawing of the human body into easy-to-follow components aiding the beginner to make rapid progress. For this, I really like Proko.

Art Easels. One of my favorite ways to draw is by using a drawing easel, which develops the skill of drawing on a vertical surface. The H frame easel is an excellent vertical way to add variety to the style and type of marks you create when using a drawing board.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource I made for you.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of improvedrawing.com and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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