Creative Inspiration & Prompts for Summer

Nature study

Go somewhere outdoors by yourself, preferably where you won’t see many people. Find a nice place to sit and spend half an hour there studying your surroundings. No music, no talking, no smart phones, just take in the scene. (Of course, be safe and let someone know where you’re going.)

Engage your other senses

  • Eat a different type of local fruit at each meal and create a piece of art inspired by their smell, feel, or taste.
  • Borrow a CD you’ve never heard and create a quick piece of art while listening to the entire album.

Push your limits

Try a new outdoor activity that stretches your comfort zone:

  • Don’t like heights? Try tandem paragliding (I survived, so will you ;D). Tamer alternative: take a bouldering class.
  • Not sure about the water? Give white-water rafting a try (or maybe wait until August when the flow’s lower). Tamer alternative: paddle surfing.
  • Always lost? Take an orienteering class, or participate in a meet, to hone your navigation skills. There are also permanent courses set up; download maps online beforehand. (Seattle area permanent orienteering courses)
  • Inspired by The Hunger Games or Brave? Try archery.

Read a book in a different genre or style from your status quo. Some PNW book suggestions I’ve enjoyed…


At the 2012 Aspen Environment Forum in June, Kevin Trenberth said: “The problem: we’re continually changing the climate so there’s no new normal. How do you plan for that?” Envision the future of the Northwest in light of climate change and continued human development.

Over to You

What inspires you during the summer?