If you think about creativity, computers don’t immediately spring to mind. Yet computers are used as tools by some of the most creative people around: artists, film makers and DJs.
Similarly, most people see the worldwide web as a source of information. It can also, however, be a great source of inspiration. Here are five ways to get the creative juices flowing.
A number of these websites require the free Flash or Shockwave players. You may already have these; if you don't, BBC Webwise will show you how to get them.
1. Mix a track
Lay down some drum loops, add a bass line, sprinkle a few vocals, send your work to a friend. You can do all of this for free with BBC Radio 1’s virtual studio. It only takes five minutes, but you’ll be basking in satisfaction for hours.
2. Make time to play
Playing is a great way to stimulate creativity. There are some great places to amuse yourself online, whether you have five minutes or five hours. For example, zefrank.com has a plethora of quirky, inspired toys. Try out some animation with Your mama, make some art with the scribbler or even make your own flower.
3. Become a filmmaker
It’s becoming easier and cheaper to make your own videos. These days most home computers can cope with video editing, and many even come with basic editing programmes as standard – such as Movie Maker in recent versions of Windows and iMovie on the Mac. If you haven’t got a video camera then you can still have a go by downloading video clips from the web, for example from the Creative Archive.
4. Get writing
Share your thoughts with the world! Whether it be as diarist, a TV reviewer, or a political pundit, a Blog makes it incredibly easy for you to get your thoughts online. There's plenty of good blogging software available. Some packages are free, such as Blogger and Wordpress, others require you to pay a subscription.
Of course, the more often you write, the better you’ll become, and the more reason there’ll be for people to return to your blog. Many blogs also allow you to get that all-important feedback. So next year, why bother with that Christmas newsletter – point them to your blog instead.
5. Try some sculpture
You don’t need a block of stone to try your hand at sculpture; you can do it the easy way: online. Hirshhorn Museum’s Art Interactive teaches you the subject, and then lets you loose to create your own.
If you’re short on time, try Pixel sculpture. It takes a simpler approach: you start with a block of small cubes and extract them one by one. You can add colour to your creation, and rotate it. It may be part of CBBC, but it’s fun for all ages.
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