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Ep 18 Silent Podcast with Ten Minutes to Create With Prompt

The Silent podcast 10 minute creativity

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Can you make just 10 minutes a day to be creative? To follow will be 10 minutes of silence for you to create. In case you’re not feeling inspired here’s an idea. Use the word “Reward” as your prompt. You can interpret it any way you like.

Draw it, write about it, use it as inspiration for a product or business. Feel free to share your creations on the Idea Medic Facebook Page. Enjoy. Your 10 minutes starts now.

My New Product Ideas Creative Challenge

A few days ago I shared some creative challenges that some of my amazing podcast guests have done. I am about to start a new one of my own now too.

lolliprops licensed idea

I’ve always wanted to license my ideas and have had a few near misses in the past. I licensed a candy idea I called LolliProps to a US company a few years ago. It made it through to sample stage, but in the end, it couldn’t be produced cheaply enough. I have a licensing agent trying to license my (co-created) cartoon book and card ideas too, but no luck with that either so far.

Blogging/Video My Progress

I have decided to have another go at licensing a product idea and blog/video my progress. I don’t have any product ideas at the moment, so will be starting with a blank page. I will try out different creative techniques to get ideas and share these. Obviously, if I hit upon something that I think has potential, I will have to keep it to myself for now.

one simple idea license product ideas

Following the Steps in One Simple Idea

For the licensing process, I am planning to follow the stages that Stephen Key sets out in his book “One Simple Idea” (The yellow version of the book). I love how Stephen and Inventright do things, having been a student of their program in the past (when I licensed the candy idea). I love the idea side of coming up with product concepts, but the whole idea of cold calling people brings me out in a cold sweat.

I have no idea how this will work out, it might take a few attempts for me to come up with something that has potential, who knows. I plan to take a look at the Inventright list of companies openly interested in new ideas and then decide which niche/s to start exploring. It won’t be anything that needs rocket science that’s for sure.

If you’d like to join me, please feel free.

Ep. 17 Twelve Ways to Get Ideas and Inspiration

How to get ideas

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In this episode Still Life Artist Sandra Busby and Tara Roskell, The Idea Medic offer twelve suggestions on how to get ideas and inspiration

TARA Idea 1: get ideas using randomness

In the past when I have been having problems coming up with design concepts (for example for an advert) I have used random techniques. There are random word sites online. You just request a word and then see how you can relate that back to the problem you are trying to solve or ideas you are trying to generate.

You can also use random images. Go to an image site like Pixabay and use the first image you find.

A musician who wrote music for commercial use told me he would go to Youtube and play a random video with the sounds turned off to help with the phrasing of his music.


When I was having a creative block Sandra and a US artist friend Suzanne Berry used to paint a picture each month based on a random word. One of us would suggest 5 words and the other would choose one. One of the paintings you can see on my website called Evidence came from those random word exercises.

SANDRA Idea 2. Learn to embrace silence!

Our world these days is so fast and loud. Constant noise wherever we go… mainly down to the portability of our entertainment these days. I mean, a mobile phone is with us all the time and if we’re not looking at it, we’re listening to it!

This doesn’t allow our minds to be still and I really think that only when our minds are quiet, can we really absorb our surroundings.

• Try switching off your phone for a change. When ever I walk the dog, I always used to call someone or listen to a podcast or some music… but one day I just switched it off and I realised how much of the present I’d been missing. I saw and heard things I would never have done otherwise and my mind just began to wander. Eventually, ideas started filtering in. Ideas for a blog post… inspiration for a painting… for a series… random melodies… all sorts!

• Try switching off the TV for a while instead of having it on just for background noise while we are doing other things. Having the TV on in the background is just distracting enough to keep out minds on something rather than nothing, so by switching it off altogether… again, it allows our minds to wander.

• Try meditating. I have to admit that I don’t meditate. But it’s the same principal. It’s allowing the mind to settle, giving it the chance to think of things… other than what you are going to cook for dinner today!

TARA’S Input to above

I have tried meditation but also used it as cartoon inspiration, which perhaps defeated the object a little.

TARA Idea 3. Get ideas by freewriting

• Set a timer for 5 or ten minutes and just start writing about a topic. Don’t stop writing. Even if you have nothing to say, repeat yourself or write the first thing that pops into your head.

The idea behind freewriting is to let out the subconscious thoughts that the conscious part of our brain censors without us knowing it. I used freewriting to come up with the illustration style for my sticky note cartoons.

SANDRA’S Input to above

The way I blog is very much like freewriting.

SANDRA Idea 4. Look at things from a completely different viewpoint than you would normally.

You can take this quite literally in day to day life!

• Lay in the bath the opposite way around to the way you usually would! Try doing the same with all of those little things you do simply out of habit, like walking the dog the opposite way than usual… waking up on a different side of the bed… swapping seats at the dining table…

• If you are an urban landscape artist, try looking up instead of directly ahead. Or think about painting the reflection of the landscape on water or reflected in a window, or through a bottle, instead of just painting the landscape itself.

• Or if you paint still-life, how about looking at your objects from a completely different viewpoint than you normally would…

• If you write music, try listening to some music backwards to find new ideas for melodies


You can find inspiration all around you as soon as you start looking.

Turn things upside down and think how you can use them differently. Eg. I once noticed how an upside down wine bottle image in a magazine looked like a wine glass. I drew a mini wine bottle that could be converted to a single glass of wine for events.

Also more recently I have been photographing everyday objects and converting them into little doodle characters

TARA Idea 5. Write down every idea you have

If you write down every idea you have, however unimportant at the time you may find that it fits perfectly with another partial idea you have later.


Carry a notebook everywhere, even while you are watching TV!

Make a note each time you overhear something that makes your ears prick up. Earwig!! And when something makes you laugh, or you see or hear something that inspires you, or you think of an idea. You can use the book to refer to the next time you experience a creative block.

SANDRA Idea 6. Have a whiteboard hanging on the wall

As you think of ideas, write them on the board before you forget. Over time you will collect lots of ideas for projects, for when you are next experiencing a creative block.


Create moodboards, similarly to a whiteboard these are very visible. Create either physical or digital mood boards of things to inspire you. These can be as simple as things ripped out of magazines to Pinterest boards

TARA: Idea 7. Try experimenting with another medium or learn something new

On another podcast Jennifer Syme, The Cramped Creative talks about using another medium to take the pressure off yourself feeling like you have to be good.

Also I started learning animation software recently, which opened up new possibilities for things I could do with my work.

SANDRA: Idea 8. Think like a child – see like an artist

• Keep a pad and pen next to the phone and always doodle when you are chatting
• Spilled some salt or something similar? Instead of wiping it up right away, create a face out of it! Make it a happy accident, rather than an annoying one.
• Make a sandcastle next time you’re at the beach


Remember how we used to look at the clouds when we were young and make shapes? Try it with anything… even bird poo!

TARA Idea 9. Creative cards

Mash up creative cards
Create a few sets of cards for different categories. So for instance, if you are an artist wanting to experiment a bit – have a few categories such as – medium, style, colour, subject. Then create cards to go in each category. Next pick a card from each category randomly.

Creative prompts cards
• You could use creative prompts or questions. When you are in an inspired mood, make yourself creative prompts that you can use when you are lacking inspiration. These could be single words, photos or questions which start of with words like What if….?

• You could make these as physical cards, a list of words or digital designs. Eg I have some logo design prompt cards (as a pdf) which have suggestions for things I could try. Such as what if you used a continuous line.

• If you do a google search you can also find ready-made creative prompts for art, writing etc

SANDRA Idea 10. Look back on some of your best work

There’s nothing like looking back on something you have created and being really proud of it. Look back on some of those projects (avoiding the less successful ones!). Ask yourself what drew you to that subject? Asking that question might help you to get new ideas.

TARA Idea 11. Taking inspiration from other creatives

Sandra paints reflective things, I could create reflective characters or look at my face in funny shaped reflective items to create weird faces (weirder than usual)


Check out the book ‘Steal Like an Artist‘, by Austin Kleon

TARA: Idea 12. The Daytective (my corny name) Technique

Use elements of your day to get ideas by purposefully noticing things. Pick a time, probably early evening and then start questioning what you have done that day.

What did I do today? – write a list and then think

• What did I notice about the things I did?
• What were the annoying bits and the problems and what were the interesting or fun things?
• What ideas could this inspire (how could I overcome the problems or make something of the interesting things)?

You can connect with Sandra Busby at

Twelve Ways to get Ideas – The Silly Bits Podcast Trailer

This is a trailer for tomorrow’s podcast where Sandra Busby, Still Life Artist and I (Tara Roskell, The Idea Medic) suggest twelve ways you can get ideas and be inspired.

Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

Have You Set Yourself a Creative Challenge?

Why should you set yourself a creative challenge?

I can barely remember a time when I didn’t have some sort or self-initiated creative project/challenge on the go. How about you?

Some of the great things about creative challenges are that you can:

  • learn new things
  • exercise your idea muscle, which you can’t always do in everyday life
  • potentially create a new revenue stream
  • have fun and connect with like minded people.

You can decide to do some thing that takes just minutes a day or plan something more ambitious. If you don’t want to set your own challenge there are loads of different ones you can join online. Just google your interest or take a look on Instagram at the hashtags and I am sure you’ll find something.

How about making just 10 minutes a day to be creative?

If you want something simple to try have a listen to my new silent podcast with prompt. The idea behind it is that everybody can make at least 10 minutes a day to be creative. The podcast consists of a creative prompt (though of course, you can do whatever you like) and then 10 minutes of silence to do your thing.

Here are some examples of creative challenges big and small

Morwhenna Woolcock, The Creative Adventurer  (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 7) sets herself some amazing Creative Challenges. This year’s challenge includes visiting a U.K. Island a month and creating a piece of postcard art of each.

Morwhenna Woolcock Creatie Adventurer walking islands

© Copyright Morwhenna Woolcock

Andrea Jordan, Learn Discover be Free (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 5 ) is on a permanent creative adventure. She’s traveling the world, taking photos and writing her blog.

Scott Thomson, Positively Postal (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 2 ) took part in a challenge to create a queens head every day for 365 days

Richard Pettitt, Richard Pettitt Art (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 1) has launched his own weekly comic strip called Oojo and Bink.

Oojo and Bink Richard Pettitt

© Copyright Richard Pettitt

Michi Mathias, Michi Mathias Illustration and Comics (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 9) has set herself the challenge to convert an old story about bike camping into a comic.

Susanna Reay, The Colour Catalyst (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 4) did a 30-day challenge to create a blog post a day called creative clinic.

Bonnie Grotjan, (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 10) set herself the creative challenge to try improv theatre and is now planning a one woman show as well as learning the Ukelele (and she’s made me want one)

Sandra Busby, Sandra Busby Art (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 11) has set herself the challenge of getting up an hour earlier each morning to make time for sketching

Jennifer Syme, The Cramped Creative (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 3) took part in last years 100-day challenge and created an image quote each day

Stephanie Bisby, Stephanie Cage Writer (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 8) took part in a challenge to write a story in 24 hours.

Justina Hart, Justina Hart Writer (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 6) recently challenged herself to take a songwriting course, write and record a song.

Don, the Idea Guy, Big Yellow Sticky (Idea Medic Podcast Ep 13) has been creating a quote/message on a sticky note each day since January 2015.

big yellow sticky

© Don, The Idea Guy

A few of my own creative challenges include:

mindfoolness book

  • Cartooning my way through an 8 week mindfulness course. These later became a book, which will soon be live.
  • Setting myself the challenge to come up with ideas based on 5 random objects
  • Blogging my progress from ideas to get a licensing agreement for a product idea.
  • 100 day challenge last year to create a sticky note cartoon every day
  • Creating a podcast
  • 100 day challenge this year to create content for this blog (I did allow myself a break this year when we went on holiday) so I am playing catch-up.
  • Learning how to create simple cartoons and videos.
  • Challenging myself to come up with 3 ideas a day for a month
  • Creating a video logo design course

I’m currently considering my next creative challenge. I will share what I decide soon.


10 Minute Creativity – Facebook Live

A week or two a go I published a 10-minute silent podcast, since then I have made a couple more with creative prompts. The idea is that everyone can make 10 minutes to be creative. When I published the first podcast I thought people might think it was a bit nuts, but I got a good response.

Andrea Jordan from suggested that I should try a Facebook Live based on the podcast. This would mean that anyone that wanted could join me for 10 minutes of creativity.You do your creative thing (or follow my prompt) and I’ll do mine. To be honest this worried me. I am not very comfortable on camera (hence the cartoon becomes me) and I knew that whatever I created in just 10 minutes would probably be rubbish. But then I realised, that’s really the point. The aim is to encourage people to make time create without worrying about the outcome. To just do something and enjoy the process. You don’t even have to create a whole piece of work in 10 minutes. You could just make a start, and then spend 10 minutes a day working on it.

10 minute Creativity

A Facebook Live "10 minute Creativity" as suggested by Andrea Jordan. I have also created a new Facebook Group – Idea Medic Creativity Group Feel free to share your 10 minute creativity in the comments or in the group.

Posted by Ideamedic on Tuesday, 18 July 2017

If you tried it, feel free to get in touch or share what you’ve created on Facebook.

If you fancy joining me next week I will be doing another one on the Facebook Page Tuesday 25th July at 12.30pm GMT. I’ve also just set up a Facebook Group here.


Ep. 16 Silent Podcast Ten Minutes to Create with Idea Prompt

The Silent podcast episode with prompt

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 Can you make just 10 minutes a day to be creative?

To follow will be 10 minutes of silence for you to create. In case you’re not feeling inspired here’s an idea – remember a toy or game you loved as a kid and use it as inspiration. You could draw, take a photo, write about it or imagine what a modern day or futuristic version might be like. Feel free to share your creations on the Idea Medic Facebook Group.

Sometimes You Just Can’t Be Arsed…


Sunday ranks highly as a ‘just can’t be arsed day,’ do you know what I mean? But you’ve promised yourself you will create something every day. Stupid idea that was! That’s my story anyway, I need to create a piece of content for this blog every day.

So I begin to think of my options and excuses. Well, I just bought a ukulele today and have been trying it out, that’s creative, isn’t it? But I’m not sure you’ll be impressed with me posting my rendition of Humpty Dumpty or a fumbling Eagles “Take it Easy’. My fingers hurt too, so perhaps blogging could be detrimental to my health.


Don’t they say that to be creative you need to rest and let your mind recharge? Perhaps I should follow that advice, but I know that’s just another one of a million excuses.

Then I contemplate posting up a cool video I found on creativity. A couple of sentences and wham bam I’m done, and I’ve done that other days, days when I’ve had stuff to do. But on a lazy Sunday, well that just seems wrong. And I’m stubborn, I have that Seinfeld chart with rows of XXXXXs in my head, and a voice going “you will not break the chain”.

I could use that post I’ve got half written… but I had that planned for later in the week. Maybe I could write another post around one of the random words I explored, but that needs some research and…I just can’t be arsed.

And in the time I have made my excuses and debated my options I could have written a post several times over.

So in conclusion, when you can’t be arsed, write about the fact you can’t be arsed, it’s only human.

How Elastic Are Your Ideas?

elastic ideas

One of the things I love about ideas is that they don’t remain static, they grow, they morph, they develop. Simply by talking to someone new, or a random comment on something you “put out there” your idea can change. But it’s hard to know whether to stick with your original idea or to be more elastic in your thinking. In the startup world, this is what they call pivoting.

The Spark and The Grind

spark and grind book Erik WahlI recently read a book by Eric Wahl called the Spark and the Grind. The spark is the initial idea that kicks things off, the bit that comes easily to creative people. The grind is the graft that comes afterward that turns the idea into something tangible. He talks about two types of people. First, there are the ones that are just obsessed about the idea stage and struggle to do the grind without losing interest and falling in love with a new idea. The positive element of these people, is they are prepared to let their ideas develop into something new if it has more promise. The difficulty this group has is that they have trouble eventually making the decision to stick with one idea (I know it well).

Where I was a little surprised however was I hadn’t considered that grinders also have their issues. He describes these people as intently focussed on their idea and the work it takes to bring it to life. Their problem is that they are so focused on their end objective, they fail to allow the idea to morph into something with more potential.

So in order to take an idea and make it a reality, we need to find a balance between focussing on a goal, while still allowing ourselves to be open to new possibilities.