by Ashley Belote

Once upon a slime…I couldn’t resist! Slime! Something so seemingly simple has had a profound effect on my art and outlook on inspiration. When my art director sent me the manuscript for FRANKENSLIME, I was blown away by Joy Keller’s ability to turn the act of making slime into an adventurous, mysterious, and scientific narrative. Using slime as my inspiration, I set out on my own scientific adventure to create a body of artwork inspired by this unique substance categorized as a non-Newtonian fluid (how’s that for some science talk?!).

Inspiration constantly exists around us; we must be willing to recognize it or even create it. When I began thinking about how to illustrate this book, the first step was to completely immerse myself in my inspiration, literally! I made slime! Glitter slime. Fluffy slime. Ghost slime. Butter slime. Crunchy slime. You get it, I made a lot of slime. Being able to touch and feel and observe slime firsthand allowed me to learn about it through play. I had to think of myself as the main character, Victoria Franken, and interact with this substance. A lot of the funny scenes I drew were a result of my Pinterest slime fails and inability to admit defeat. I had a blast! As adults, we tend to look at things analytically and can sometimes forget to have fun.

Now, I realize that not all inspiration can be easily accessed physically, and there are times when we must look inward and rely on our imaginations. But this isn’t always as simple as it sounds; some days we feel like we don’t even have imaginations! No more of that! When I’m stuck, I complete the following drawing exercise to get my mind thinking in a different way. This trick is great for illustrators AND writers, so, if you’re one of those people who say drawing is impossible, now is the slime to put those thoughts away and get ready to play! (Did you like that one?!)

Step 1: Take out some blank paper.
TIP! If you can get your hands on a large-scale piece of paper, like 22” x 16”, DO IT! Trust me, there is something freeing about drawing on a big surface. You feel limitless. I am blessed with a creative mom and when I was a kid, she would bring home pieces of unused billboard paper for me to draw on. They were huge! They took up our entire living room floor, so the whole room was my canvas! Obviously, that isn’t something you can get from Amazon (at least I don’t think so…) but just try to get your hands on something a bit bigger than printer paper. Again, we are focusing on fun!

You can use pencils, markers, colored pencils…whatever you want! Just find something to draw with that feels good to you.

Step 3: Hold your drawing utensil in your NON-dominant hand.
For me, that is my left hand as I usually draw with my right. Close your eyes, place your pencil to paper, and make a sweeping, continuous mark for 3 seconds.

Step 4: Voila!
Open your eyes and see your masterpiece! Just kidding, haha. It probably will not be a masterpiece quite yet. Look at the shape you have created. What does it look like? Turn your paper to get a look at your shape upside down and keep turning until you see something. A moose? Maybe a river? An elegant three-story Victorian home with a walkway and koi pond? Wonderful! Now, once you “see” something or visualize the potential of your shape, start drawing it out. Add color, details, manipulate it to create what your mind’s eye is seeing.

Step 5: Use your inspiration!
Have you designed a landscape that can act as a setting for a story? Did you create a character? How exciting to be able to take this creation in any direction you’d like.

I love this stuff!! I hope you can use this technique to help find the fun in your inspiration and jumpstart your imagination going forward. Have the slime of your life! I had to sneak in one more 😊 As for me, I am proud to show the cover of FRANKENSLIME, coming to shelves near you on July 13th and followed shortly thereafter by its sequel, VALENSLIME, on November 16th!

Ashley Belote is the illustrator of FRANKENSLIME (2021), VALENSLIME (2021), and the author-illustrator of her solo debut picture book, LISTEN UP, LOUELLA (2022). She studied traditional animation under the direction of Don Bluth. Ashley earned her BA from Alderson Broaddus University and her MA in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky. Her graduate study included a children’s literature and illustration course through Simmons College. Ashley lives and works in North Carolina where she creates artwork that she hopes brings lots of laughs to others. Visit her at and and follow her on Instagram @AshleyBeloteIllustration and Twitter @AshleyBelote1.

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That excercise sounds like so much fun!!

Frankenslime sounds amazing. I’m off to draw on my head.

Love this idea! And Frankenslime looks adorable!

What a fun post! Your illustration style is great. Thanks for sharing Ashley.

Thanks for those Steps! I’m going to buy some large paper and cover my dining room table with it. Art Time!

I love the non-dominant hand part to get a different perspective on the artwork creation from a different point of view. Thank You

Reading the last couple of days of entries in a row, and seeing – hold a pen in your other hand, see your room from another angle, think and create in a new way. Love this theme.

A local restaurant used large sheets of brown craft paper as table cloths and provided everyone with a menu AND a set of crayons. Was so much fun to eat surrounded by our imagination.

Love this Ashley! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the reminder to have fun, Ashley! I need some to free up my mind. Meanwhile, I’m excited to read both slime books.

Wow. Time for slime and a rhyme. Love your artistic and innovative process!

Ohhh, I LOVE this approach to freeing the imagination! Big sheet of paper, here I come! Thanks, Ashley!

Frankenslime looks fantastic! What a fun and energetic post. Thank you for the creative inspiration.

Sometimes I forget how freeing making something can be to get my writing kick started. Thanks’

I have big paper! I have big paper! I also have child ‘helpers’ xxx

Thank you for sharing.

I love slime, finger paint and slippery clay. Now I’m looking for a piece of paper as large as my studio. Thank you for the freedom.

Thanks Ashley! I love the story of your mom bringing home pieces of billboard to draw on! I’m so going to try this creative jumpstart technique. Fun!

What a great exercise to get the creativity flowing!

Slime is definitely a winner and your tips for letting go and getting creative were terrific. Thank you

This is a fun post. I’ve made slime for a summer camp I was directing. A couple of fails later… But it was always fun!

Slime is a brilliant topic for picture books! Thank you!

Thanks for this prompt! PS love your illustrations…

Have never thought of doing this type of exercise before – sounds like I’m going to have some good slimes indeed! Thank you for sharing.

Ohhhh, can’t wait to try this with my kids. A weekend project for sure!

This sounds fun! Reminds me of my love of collaging, which is another form of “drawing” but with images. I’m gonna try this. Thanks!

I’m not much of an artist, but I’ve made a lot of slime! Love your tip–and I think it will work for me in my dominant hand as well!

Sounds like so much fun- non-dominant hand is hard enough but eyes closed-eek! This sounds like a great activity to do with the 7 year old as well. Will try it later

You immersed yourself in the medium of your subject–slime–the way good actors immerse themselves in the milieu of their characters. Thank you for sharing your creative methods! If you aren’t already a teacher, I hope you will be someday. Now to find some BIG paper for my granddaughter…

Thank you Ashley. Drawing with my left-hand is a super suggestion. Great Fun!

I loved this insight! Super fun!

Slime! I love it. Thank you for sharing. T

I enjoyed this post and look forward to enjoying your books!

The piece that stuck out for me with this post was that incredible technique of freeing the brain towards creativity by hampering both vision and the dominant side of the brain, then engaging with something tactile. I think I’ll put some slime on the left side my writing desk and let it work its magic. Thanks!

You’re right about how a big piece of paper can be freeing! I had rolls of paper I used when I taught that allowed children to create murals! Fabulous.

Thanks for the great tip!

Congratulations on your book, and thank you for this inspirational idea:)
Gail Hartman

Love this exercise. ❤ Thanks for the inspiration. My favorite line: "Inspiration exists constantly around us."

How fortunate for you to have been so encouraged by your mother! This sounds like a fun exercise. Now to go find some oversized paper! Thank you!

Terrific brainstorming ideas, Ashley – And bigger paper definitely helps! Thanks for the tip!

Great Idea! I have drawing paper for my grandson, but never imagined that maybe I should be right there with him and draw too 🙂 Thank you.

I really like the emphasis on going BIG and on the non-dominant hand. Thank you!

Fun idea! I look forward to reading your books coming out this year! Congrats!

Wonderful post, Ashley! I love this approach and will get to it today—big paper and all! Your puns are priceless. Congratulations on your author illustrator debut!!! Yay, you did it!

I can’t wait to try the technique you’ve suggested! Thank You!

My daughter will be soooo thrilled to read “Frankenslime”!! Our house was once buried under containers and containers of slime. Thanks for the great ideas to spark creativity!

I’m now a bit obsessed by all the fun words that rhyme with slime! Thanks Ashley!

What a fantastic idea for a picture book. Slime. It is EVERYTHING to kids! This book can be given as a birthday present to a BFF with you guessed it…homemade slime, teachers can read this book and then have the class make slime…how fun is that for a lesson? Great concept! Best of Luck!

Having created modeling compounds for children at both Crayola and Hasbro, I really enjoyed reading about how you played with slime to help illustrate Frankenslime! Thanks for the creative inspiration.

Thanks for a great post, Ashley. This reminds me to make some slime with my daughter this weekend! And thanks for the great drawing exercise! Looking forward to your books!

Great activity—thank you for sharing! Looking forward to reading Frankenslime!

Thank you Ashley for this fun post.

Ooooh, Ashley, I will not be shy. I would LOVE an author/illustrator critique. Thank you for your generousity.

I am a person who tends to be more analytical so I must try this.

What a wonderful idea! I’m gonna do this myself and with the kiddos of course. Can’t wait to read the book. Love the word play on slime. Thank you.

Carolina girls, represent! 🙂 Way to go, Ashley! Excited for your success, and so enjoyed this exercise! I don’t think I have much in the way of artistic talent, but I still find these visual prompts really work well for me! Thanks for the inspiration! Congratulations and I can’t wait to read and see your wonderful illustrations for Frankenslime!

This was such a fun exercise and brought me a new, rather silly idea. Thank you!

Carolina Girls, represent! 🙂 What a wonderful post, Ashley! Big congratulations and blessings for continued success!!! You know, I don’t think I have much in the way of (visual) artistic talent, but I still find these visual prompts really help me! Thank you for the inspiration. I came up with a fun character that I plan to play around with!

I’m an illustrator and often find inspiration in character drawings, but perhaps today’s the day to not start with the illustration, but a scribble! A fantastic playful technique!

Thank you for the suggestion. It’s sort of like resorting in a way back to childhood when you’re figuring out how to draw and who you are. That’s when creativity is at its best.

Thanks Ashley. It will be interesting to see what evolves from my non-dominant hand doodles!

Thank you for this inspirational suggestion. I love this, “As adults, we tend to look at things analytically and can sometimes forget to have fun.” I appreciate that reminder so much!

What a hoot! Can’t wait to read the book AND try the creative drawing exercise!

Ashley, what a fantastic exercise to get our imaginations flowing! Thank you!

I like your challenge. If nothing else, I might create some linear slime. 😜

You had me at the slime puns! Thanks for sharing your playful technique and new releases, Ashley.

Love this technique! Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

Congratulations on your new book! And thanks for your “subslime” and fun creativity prompt – just in case that’s “sublime”!:)

What a fun blog post! Thank you for sharing and congrats on the new book.

I love this idea. I’m definitely going to try it

I can’t wait to try this brand-new-to-me brainstorming technique, and I’ve even got an old roll of brown wrapping paper waiting. Thanks, Ashley, for taking the slime to give us an inspirational start to the day!

Ahhh slime – I think most parents have a love/hate relationship with it! Ha!

Love how you stayed on sleme. I mean theme. Slime. Whah whah whah (that funny sound when a joke falls flat). Thanks so much for sharing your tips for getting the creative juices flowing! Congrats on the new books!

I’m going to try this. Thanks for sharing your process.

Thanks for the Friday inspiration! I love to draw but I’m not an illustrator, or good at it, so I rarely do. I love this idea 🙂

Can’t wait to try this!

Time to gather a few art supplies and a humongous piece of paper to play and create.

Thank you, Ashley.

Suzy Leopold

Ashley, thank you for reminding me about ways to have childlike wonder, fun, and creativity. The idea of looking for big paper sparked an idea…
Your illustrations are wonderful! Congratulations on your books being showcased this year!

This was pure joy! Thanks for igniting fun in the artistic process for me again. Great timing for a New Year.

Thank you, Ashley, for helping us think and slime outside the box. Huge sheets of paper on the floor. Wow!

I need to think of the last time I did something just for creativity’s sake without thinking of budget and other restrictions. Sounds fun.

Thanks for the inspiration. I just bought some new colored pencils and they make me feel the way I did as a kid – all the possibilities.

What a fun post -and good reminder to keep it fun! I’m inspired! 🙂

Love this idea of using non-dominant hand and just letting imagination flow. Sometimes adulting really restricts ideas. Thank you for sharing!

What a fun post! Thanks, Ashley!

Great reminder to loosen up and have fun!

I love the idea of letting a random drawing spark a story or character. I plan to pull out some large sheets of paper later with my kids!

Thank you for this tip! I look forward to your book.

Thank you for the inspiration, Ashley! How fun!!!

Yes, I love drawing on large paper. In art school drawing was physical exercise! Your whole body got into it. It was so fun!

I never knew there were so many kinds of slime. What fun to try them all! Thanks for a great post.

This looks like so much fun. You’re right I forget to have fun before, during and while writing. I love tactile projects too. Congratulations on two fun publications.

What a fun post to read and such great ideas!

I don’t know about billboard paper, but the local newspaper office sells the left over rolls of newsprint. 🙂

Kids love slime & now I want to too! Thank you for the inspiration. Looking forward to your books. Congrats!

This is fun! Could be a fun classroom activity. Thanks. As soon as I get finished typing this, I’m grabbing that blank piece of paper! Being the artist that I’m not, I wonder what will come of it!!!

This sounds like a fun exercise, and because it involves pencils, pens, and markers, I’m doing it! Thank you, and congratulations on this adorable book!!

Thank you Ashley😊

Such a fun post for a non illustrating author. Can’t wait to grab that blank piece of paper! Would be a fun project for the classroom! Thank you.

Getting out my markers and wide freezer paper now! Great suggestion for inspiration and fun. Thank you.

It sounds like you had a lot of fun playing with slime! The drawing exercise you provided sounds like fun too.

My dad brought home large rolls of unused printer paper from the printing company he worked for… I wonder if those are still laying around.

I love how “outside the box” this idea is! Thanks, Ashley, and congratulations!

Thank you for that wonderful exercise!

Thank you for that wonderful idea!

Slime is so much fun 🙂 And I’m not an illustrator but drawing certainly unlocks creativity.

Ashley, thank you for your slime, and this post. Congrats on two books coming out this year! Your cover art is super. You had a wonderful mother who saw the artist in you at an early age and encouraged you with the huge poster boards Love it!

Frankenslime and Valenslime! This is just hilarious! Also how you experimented with types of slimes. You made me realise that my studio is currently more and office—offices leave very little space for creative play. Good that this space is still under construction. So, I need to focus on making it my creative playground, too. Thanks for the insights, Ashley!

I’ve read so much lately about the importance of play for inspiration. Thanks, Ashley.

Thanks for the fun inspiration. Wish I could draw beyond crude stick figures.
Love you illustrations.

My line turned into a odd, but fun unicorn. I wonder where it is going. Only slime will tell…

Yes! Giant paper is so inspiring. Love that you have an MA in arts administration (analytical mind?) and are a playful illustrator as well. Love the title-Listen Up Louella! Thank you for sharing!

Such a great title and writing exercise. Looking forward to reading.

Being an artist must be freeing to create from a blank canvas, I guess the rest of us are a little inhibited but tried your exercise and have a story idea that I’m going to work on. Thanks

I loved the drawing exercise. It was fun to see the result! Thanks for sharing!

I felt such freedom and joy reading this Ashley! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

Great post, Ashley! Looking forward to this exercise, possibly with a colleague;)

Fun and imaginative idea for inspiration. Thanks, Ashley! Slime play reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously in this “business” and forget the joy. I congratulate you on finding success with work that obviously feeds you with joy. SPLAT! That’s me sending you a slimeball of gratitude!

What a cool idea! I can’t wait to try it out when I get home tonight. I might have both of my kids draw freely too and see what they come up with. That might be my next big inspiration! Thank you!

Drawing with your non dominant hand. LOVE it!
A brilliant post that pops! Thank you.:)

Oh, I am so doing this this weekend!

As a artist who has played with this technique, DO IT! It is so much fun! You can also take photos of cracks in walls or sidewalks, print it out and do the same thing. It will be new for me to use this as a springboard for my books. I will even go back to my piles of drawing and see if I can discover a story! Thank you !

I love your art! I love that you aim to evoke laughter with your art! It’s a pleasure to discover you, Ashley!

I love slime too and Frankslime… Wow, what a great idea. I can’t wait to read this book.

WOW! I’m inspired! Drawing with my non-dominant hands and eyes closed may actually be better than with dominant hand and eyes opened.
Great post!

Love your post and inspiration. I will definitely look for “the fun in (my) inspiration”. Can’t wait to read your books!

Thanks for an inspiring post!

My squiggle turned sideways,…became a whale and a fish friend in the ocean,…my most happy of places. As a former drawing artist,…now trying my hand as a budding writing artist,…this exercise was very meaningful to me.
Thank you!

I’m a teacher who’d love a virtual classroom visit. 🙂

Thank you for this great idea! My daughter and I are loving it.

I’m nowhere near being an artist but I love your unique approach!

Both look like really fun books, congrats! …and thanks for sharing your process. 🙂

Ashley, you have me “slime-ing” or smiling. LOL. Sounds like a great “get unstuck exercise.” Ty and congrats on your books!

Thank you for sharing. I needed a little fun today.

Losing that adult mind and playing like a kid. Such great advice for creativity! Thanks for sharing your fun process with us.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much because I am NOT an artist, but OMG, this actually worked for me, lol. I came up with (what I hope is) a cute story idea! Thanks for sharing!

Slime flies when you’re having fun! Thanks for the reminder to find the child in ourselves!

Love the wordplay! Pure fun.

My mum let us draw on old rolls of wallpaper when we were kids … and she did the same for her grandchildren. Hours of fun! Thanks for the reminding us to be creative.

Your book looks so much fun! Thanks for your encouragement to be creative and play.

As a full-time leftie, let me welcome you all to the dark side. Watch out for ink smudges.

Oh Ashley!! I love this post, because you are so hilarious and truly inspiring! I will definitely try this exercise to see where it takes me! Congratulations on your books!!

Great exercise, I’m going to have to try that with some poster board I have at home. Thanks for the inspiration!

What a fun exercise Ashley and Congratulations on your books coming out!

Thanks for sharing your idea generator exercise. I’ll have to try it some slime, uh, I mean time. Congratulations on Frankenslime!

When I get stuck, I like to doodle or make stuff, but I’ve never considered doing so in this way. I love it! Congrats on all of your upcoming books. My daughter is going to LOVE them!

I’ve been teaching my daughter some drawing techniques and it’s made me realize that drawing is much more in the eyes than by the hand. What she sees and what I see are completely different.

Ashley, thanks for sharing your approach to a fun, creative and inspirational exercise. I can’t wait to give it a try. Congratulations on your impending solo PB debut and the …slime series! Frankenslime looks like great fun—I’m looking forward to getting my copy.

I love this! I remembering doing things like that as a kid. So fun! I can’t wait to read your new books!

What a fun post today. I can honestly say that slime, the non-Newtonian fluid, may have a bit more respect after enjoying Ashley’s insights. Thank you.

Interesting thought to go BIG – the opposite idea of thumbnails! Might be a great way to shake things up. Thanks

Super cool suggestion to use the non-dominant hand, Ashley…and I love the big piece of paper and eyes closed idea. I used to do squiggle art with my kids…and it was always lots to see what we came up with. Thank you so much for sharing inspiration!

I don’t consider myself artistic, but I can see the concept behind this. I have done something similar with my first graders in the past. I draw some shapes or partial shapes on a page, copy it it and hand it out. The kids then take time to draw a picture with the shapes, share their story verbally, then we write it down. We then marvel how 20 some odd people (some odder than others) can start with the same product and each see the shapes differently and come up with unique stories.

Thanks for the great ideas! You’re so talented!

Sounds like something fun to try.

Thanks, Ashley! I love that you included corny slime word play throughout your post! Congratulations on your books! Can’t wait to read them!

Ashley, all SO clever and fresh! And you can get large white construction paper through teacher’s/education supply stores or Amazon 🙂

Such a fun way to play. I love discovering what will come out of a squiggle.

I am not an artist although..I want to be one! Fun way to play and “let go”…thank you.

Yay for slime… and I’ve made a lot, but never “crunchy” slime. I did not know slime could BE crunchy! I love your slimy book titles!

Now my son has seen this and we’re going to make slime this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration, Ashley!

Yahoo for North Carolina, where the rocks get slimy with moss in those lovely forests and dewy air! (from a displaced North Carolinian, in the parched West)

That activity sounds so fun. I will be using my right hand and think I’ll get the kids to join in the fun!

Whoah Ashley the Slimenator. Awesome ideas. I love collage. I’m making dragons with lindoor truffle wrappers. So much for weight loss in 2021

Excited to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

Fun idea, thank you so much!

Great ideas! Thanks Ashley. I love how you remind me that the first experimentation can be just playing around with the sound of the words (even though that wasn’t the subject of your post)

So much fun–art intimidates me, but this kind of exercise just to see what happens sounds like a blast!

What a fun idea (Going off to try it now). And an even “funner” looking PB. Frankenslime!

Big paper is fun! Kids love when I used to pull that out for art class at school-even whiteboards are freeing right now. Don’t like it? Erase and draw again. Congrats on your book!

Great suggestion for the freestyle drawing technique. I look forward to giving it a try!

I love the idea; try something outside of your comfort zone and see where it goes. Adventure awaits!

Ashley, congratulations on your new book! What a great reminder to have fun while creating!

What a fun drawing exercise! Thank you for the inspiration! Congratulations on your books!

Thanks for inspiring us!

My kids love doing blind drawings like that; I’ll have to try it out myself sometime. And we went through the slime phase too..all of it…we made all of the slime 😄 Thanks for your post!

Ashley, thanks for your creative inspiration! Congrats on your upcoming books!!

Ahh..I love your illustrations! I can only draw penguins and octopuses because those shapes are pretty easily identifiable, but I will try this giant paper technique! Also, slime is the best, except on clothes. 😉

Such absolute fun — as the author of Moldilocks, I say: Why didn’t I think of that? And love the art ❤

How fun! I’ve never thought about doing a freestyle drawing to gain inspiration or new ideas! Thanks, Ashley!

Haha! My doodle became a cricket on a modped. There’s a great idea for the day!

Okay, I trusted and got the BIG paper and what FUN I had. Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on Frakenslime!

Thanks, what a fun post! Found an idea already. I look forward to your SLIME books! (just noticed that ‘slime’ is one typo away from ‘smile’)

That was FUN!

Fun, fun, fun! I love how unique this post is and yet…we can all enjoy and participate. Great post.

What a great idea! All my years of teaching, and I’ve never thought of using slime that way! Hmmm. What other things are around us that could be used for ideas? Anything!

Why can fun be so elusive? Thanks for the great ideas Ashley…

I can’t wait to read Frankenslime, it sounds like you had so much fun with it. I am really looking forward giving your ideas a try, it sounds like Im going to have a great time with it, thanks so much!

So fun! I love anything that takes you out of your head – well, at least the side we tend to rely on. I’m going to try this with my students! And big paper is a great idea.

I loved this post, Ashley! What a fun way to generate ideas. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Perfect post to end this difficult week. Best antidotes: play and art. Using my non-dominant hand was so freeing. Thanks, Ashley

I love this idea I just don’t think I’ve done it on a large enough scale yet!

I love the creativity and ingenuity…Frankenslime!

What a great way to play! Thank you, Ashley, for the inspiration. I’ll be combining your exercise with Samantha Berger’s Jan. 6th Top Ten creativity list (#8). A daily doodle sounds like the perfect fun warmup to start each morning off with a creative bang.

Hooray for FRANKENSLIME! Thanks so much for the fun post, Ashley. Looking forward to trying this exercise and looking forward to reading your books!

Frankenslime looks so fun!

Thanks for the art inspiration – I’m excited to try out your technique!

Fun post! Thanks for the ideas.

Biiig canvas, love it! Thank you, Ashley!

I love the JOY of this inspirational suggestion (and a reminder that I need to channel my inner- kid in order to plug into that creative space inside me)! THANK YOU!

Fun technique! Thanks for sharing!

lol, I’m such a writer… I kept thinking, ‘great idea! how can I turn this activity to into a writing exercise? I know, instead of adding details and color, I can describe the details and make up a story about it!’
Once again, a picture is worth 1000 words, and I’d rather write the thousand.
Great post!

I appreciate the tip to look inward for picture book ideas. Thanks for sharing!

What a neat idea. I’m not artistic but I think this is definitely worth trying!

Zany, wonderful suggestion. Thanks, and congrats on unraveling the intricacies of slime!

So inspirational! Love reading your story x

Thank you for reminding us writers that we can initiate ideas visually too!

Love this! Thank you, Ashley!

SLIME!! I think I will stick with the glitter though…

I love how illustrators think! It’s so freeing for my text-heavy brain. Thank you for this! And I’m thinking this could be a great exercise for kids, too, so they’ll stop seeing every mark they make on the paper as a mistake. Cheers!

What a fun post! I love puns! I love all the posts that invite us, as writers and illustrators to summon the child in us and play! I can’t wait to get my big piece of paper or posterboard and see what “masterpiece” I create in 3 seconds! Seriously, this is so freeing. I think this approach sounds more productive and way more fun than staring at a blank page and trying to force the ideas. Thank you very much!!

Oh Ashley I had so much fun with that & it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I’m also going to use it with the children in my classroom when we start our school up again. Thank you for making me step out of my comfort zone as a writer. It made me smile! ❤️

Can’t wait to read Frankenslime!

I love this idea so much- thank you for sharing!

What a fun idea! And what a fun sounding book! Have you ever tried making ooblek?

Thanks for this great exercise! I’m going to dig out some butcher paper on a roll. Lynn Street

Sounds like a fun exercise. When you mentioned the big roll of paper that took up much of the room, it reminded me of a scene in Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Her Father where Ramona and her dad created a masterpiece of their town on a ginormous sheet of paper.

What a fun post – thank you! And Frankenslime? Brilliant!

Fun! Looking forward to reading both books! Thanks for the post, Ashley.

This drawing exercise has come at the perfect slime! Looking forward to your new books. Thank you, Ashley!

Wow! My daughter and I do this all the time, but I never thought to go one step further and use it for story ideas. Thanks!

I’ve got to admit, “chunky” slime made my stomach squirm. That is awesome dedication. :). Thank you for sharing your process.

Thanks for sharing your creative ideas with us!

Thank you for this fun exercise! I am excited to try it out!

Tomorrow, I’ll experiment on my new idea. Thank you. My ‘slime’ is something you probably don’t think about most of the time. I’m being encouraged by a great lady!

What a great way to generate ideas! I love it! ❤️

Thank you for the fun ideas!

Love this idea of drawing line with non dominant hand to get creativity going

My creative juices are really struggling today, but blindly squiggling with my other hand for a few seconds? That much I can handle. Thank you so much for giving us a fun, easy (and effective!!) way to inspiration.

I was excited to read such an enthusiastic, fun post from a fellow UK alum! Go Cats! I definitely will try the jumbo-sized drawing activity.

Thanks for the creative exercise and interesting post!! 🙂 Jill Dana

Sounds like FrankenSlime will be very entertaining. Look forward to seeing it.

Love the fluidity of this idea. Art and music can really get those creative juices flowing. Thank you for sharing your slime- multiuous journey.

Not being an illustrator, I was skeptical of anything coming from this exercise…but I ended up with a picture that generated four story ideas! Thanks for this post, Ashley!

Awesome! I can’t wait to play. And congrats on your upcoming books. I’ve put them both on my “to read” list!

I seriously can’t wait to try this!

interesting exercise. Thanks for sharing, Ashley.

What an interesting exercise! I wonder what I will create. Can’t wait to try it!

The exercise resulted in a child figure with a hat on and buttons on his top.
I’d like to have you visit to discuss this character. Thank you, Ashley.

Brilliant idea and so fun! Thank you, Ashley!

A very slimely blob. 🥸🤪

Years ago when I was in high school I would write letters to my girlfriend on the back of the large window sale posters from the local department store. (I worked there and put them up and took them down).

My kids are grown, but we still have the last bit of a large roll of butcher paper that was used regularly to trace children, draw murals, etc. Time to pull it out again! Thanks!!

I’m not an illustrator, but I can’t wait to try your exercise. I love this line, “As adults, we tend to look at things analytically and can sometimes forget to have fun.” so good. Thanks.

I cannot wait to do this exercise! I am committing to do it today! Thanks, Ashley. Getting out of my head zone into…something else.

Fun activity! Love the concept of this book and how you so playfully got into the mindset of illustrating it. Thanks!

I love the Think Big graphic. This is a fun post and the exercise sounds like it might break some ideas loose for me. Thanks!

In the beginning of art class I have my students draw with their opposite hand and sometimes even with their eyes closed! This was so amazing, Thank you Ashley!

Intriguing idea. I love it.

I’ve had the slime of my life! Thank you Ashley for this fun trip into your process for FRANKENSLIME! 🙂 Congrats to you and Joy!

I’m getting my big piece of paper out now!

Definitely a fun exercise! Can’t wait to check out Frankenslime with my slime-obsessed students!

I’m afraid I’m one of those people who think art is impossible…but I’m going to think big and give this a try! I’m pretty sure I have a big roll of brown paper in the cupboard. I’ll rummage that out.

I only know how to draw stick figures, but I love this idea and think I can make it work! Thanks!

Interesting idea . . . I’ll never know unless I try.

My granddaughter loves to make slime!!!!!!❤️

Congrats Ashley on your slimey books! Ha! We have made many batches of slime and your books will be a huge hit with so many! I would love to share them with my slime obsessed grands.!

I am sure you are fun for kids to see! Thank you!

This book sounds like it was made for my kids! Thanks for sharing your creative process : )

Can’t wait to read this book! Thank you for the inspirational ideas.

Thanks for the permission to have fun! I love the drawing exercise you presented.

Thanks Ashley for the permission to have fun! I love the exercise you presented.

Brilliant idea! Thanks Ashley!

Got an idea! Thank you!

What fun! Thanks for the creativity cross-training tip!

Yay, what fun to revisit something I loved doing as a kid but left behind sometime between college (yes I majored in illustration) and having kids. Thank you so much for reminding me, and for helping the creativity flow!

Thank you for sharing such a fun activator activity for both writing and illustration.

I love this idea! I am a former PreK teacher and I miss those days where I would play along with the children and experiment new materials that kept my 5 senses sharp and receptive. Now, I don’t do it anymore but it’s definitely time to bring it back! 🙂

Love this! My goddaughter LOVES slime can’t believe I didn’t think of this.

This will be a challenge for me.

What a fun book! Thank you for the creativity exercises!

BRB. I’ll be busy searching the house for a giant piece of paper!

I love the idea of the large paper! The freedom to be creative! I will be creative and find a way to do this with my all virtual third grade class! Thank you!

ASHLEY: THANK YOU for the WONDERFUL reminder that we NEED to make the process of creation FUN!!! I LOVE the exercise you shared, and CAN’T WAIT to give it a try! Your illustrations are TRULY MAGICAL!!! THANK YOU!!!

Thanks for the dose of inspiration Ashley!

Slimetastic post and book cover!

I love slime. My kids have even brought it back from other countries for me. Thank you for the smile today.

What a fun exercise! I Love drawing on big butcher paper sheets. Thank you so much for sharing your tips and story.

Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

I love the idea of playing with slime!

I’d like to hear more about fluffy slime… Thanks for your enthusiasm, suggestions, and inspiration, Ashley.

Sounds like lots of fun–gonna find me a huge piece of paper and try this this weekend!

I love the idea of loving slime. Thanks for the tips on finding inspiration from the less used side of life. Looking forward to see where drawing with my eyes closed leads me!

This is one of my favorite ways to get inspired, but I’ve never tried using big paper before. I look forward to drawing big! Thanks!

Love this subslime☺️ art of a story starter! I’m excited to check out your fun books.

Frankenslime looks adorable! Congrats, and good luck w Valenslime too!

Slime is such fun. Play is a great way to get those creative juices going. Thanks for the inspiration.

This is a very creative way to spark inspiration. It reminds me of looking at the clouds and trying to see shapes. I will definitely try it.

I love the idea of play to get creative ideas going!

This is going to be so much fun! Thanks, Ashley!

Love the creative ideas! Thank you!

Love the creative ideas! I’m looking forward to reading Frankenslime!

I am artistically challenged, however this exercise seems like a fun way to get my imagination stoked. Thanks

OMGsh! I love this art lesson because I love to teach nondominant hand tricks and creativity. I can’t wait to be a substitute teacher again when schools open so I can share this lesson and tell them about your books! Thank you!

What a unique idea! I’m going to try it.

I just really like the push to create freely and think or ponder over whatever comes to mind. As an adult, I think too much sometimes. Learning to let go and try new things is fun…and necessary

I’m not good with drawings, but it’s good to get out of my comfort zone so will try it and see. Liked the word play, too. Slimy!

What a fun technique! Thank you!

Oh I love the drawing idea! When my son was little I would get out all of the art supplies I had and we would set up in the bathroom (for easy cleaning up), and just create. It is freeing and fun. Thank you!

I wish my kids were still living at home. They’d love this exercise. I’m going to try this tomorrow and have fun! I loved your slimy post with all the slime jokes. I’ll look forward to reading this book soon. What a fun post, Ashley!

Thankyou, Ashley and I love the titles of your two new books!

Slimy FUN play liberation

Your post made it seem so easy. I think I’ll try it.

I love those types of creative exercises but never think to do them. Thanks for the reminder!

LOVE your idea of using large paper and writing with non-dominant hand. I have to try it and see what it conjures up!

What an appropriate medium for today’s subject of seeing things from a different perspective and playing around like a mad scientist: good old Frankenstein. The book cover seems to speak directly to the theme you mention. Little Victoria is crafting her own inspiration, molding and shaping her amorphous creativity into a new idea. From the slime we came and to the slime we go again!

My daughter and her friend had a little slime business at their middle school a few years ago! I love these ideas! 😆

Great post! Using a LARGE piece of drawing material is certainly a super way to get those creative juices flowing!! 🙂

What a slimetastic post! You are very punny and I really enjoyed your drawing activity. I suppose it’s too late to warn of the hazards of slimediciton. Looking forward to reading these books! Congrats!

Slime and drawing? My Zoom K-2 kids would think you are the coolest (and then maybe by association I could earn much needed brownie points).

I love the slime idea!

What imagination – and inspiration!! I love the idea of having fun, playing and immersing one’s self in the things about which one is writing! Your freeing drawing exercise is such a simple way to get creative juices flowing! Thank you, Ashley! – Jen 🙂

Thank you for your blog post. I enjoyed reading it and the 5 steps!

Taking time to play and being totally immersed in the materials and process is such a wonderful adventure needed each and every day. Thanks for the reminder.

‘Find the fun in your inspiration and jumpstart your imagination going forward.’ Love this. Thank you, Ashley! And congratulations on all of your upcoming books.

Fun! Will have to try this.

I just love this exercise and can’t wait to do it with my boys. Thank you for sharing this!

Your idea reminds me of a TV show a long time ago where kids were invited to make a “squiggle” and the artist would make it into a picture–but how fun to be both squggler and artist!

Love! Love! Love! THIS!!! Especially the part about the bigger the better! I live in an old house that is in constant “re-do” stage. I have saved an entire wall in my upstairs hall way for “art” I have accumulated end rolls from the local paper and they are perfect for taping up in the 10′ x 8′ space and just letting go! Thanks also Ashley for encouraging those of us with no gift for drawing to give it a chance and see…

Not since being a Nickelodeon kid have I enjoyed being slimed this much. Thank you for oozing your coolness into our creative souls!

Thank you for the inspirational exercise. The large canvas is quite liberating – no room for that little internal editor that says it’s not perfect. I just let myself go and had a wonderful slime.
Good luck with the new books :-).

Thank you!

Great idea to loosen up the imagination! Thank you.

I love this idea!
I used the back of an old roll of wallpaper to create my imaginative swirl, and I’m pleased with my space creation. I’ll use this method again.
Thank you 😊

I’m looking forward to looking for Frankenslime! It sounds like you had lots of fun with your research!

This is an exercise I need to try! I’ve heard that drawing (or writing) with the opposite hand can bring different results. Thanks for the inspiration!

This sounds helpful. Thank you.

Your tips for opening up your muse to new ideas are fantastic, for all types of creatives! And although I’m very averse to touching slime (ewwww!!!), I think this book is already a winner because kids LOVE slime! Congrats on back to back launches this year!

Oooh, I love slime too! What a fun way to brainstorm!

Thank you Ashley! This reminded me of an exercise we did at a conference with Denise Fleming- put a pen in each hand- different colors – and look at something to draw, but not your paper. Very freeing and fun! Thanks for the reminder to “loosen up!”

It was brilliant to make all kinds of slime yourself! I have some big pieces of paper left over from a move that might work for the exercise. Thanks for the suggestion!

I love the brainstorming suggestion-thank you for the post! Congratulations on your books!

Thanks, Ashley. This is going to be fun!

This sounds like a really fun activity – a great one for the classroom too. Thanks Ashley :o)

The book really looks cool! Thanks for sharing the exercise.

My stepdaughter has always been a slime aficionado so she will be excited to see your book! Thanks for the inspiration.

The inspiration art is a great activity. Especially for a rambunctious, artistic 4-year-old (my main source of idea inspiration). Today, we are going to be trying it out for our art time. Thank you, Ashley!

If you have a daughter, you can understand slime! She was given a gallon of elmers glue for Christmas and used it in a week making slime. I love that title and need to buy it. Thanks for the drawing inspiration. I am an illustrator and try to inspire my kids daily on the art or writing and drawing and hope one day they remember me like you do with your mom…what an inspiration! Thank You.

Oh, I love the idea of drawing BIG! So freeing! Thank you, Ashely!

I need to find me some BIG paper! I cannot draw at all, but it sounds so fun to just lay on a big piece and go crazy.

I failed a drawing and composition class in college, only to make an A when I took art for elementary teachers. I did go on to be a teacher, but at the collegiate level. I still doodle, and sometimes my doodles go from one page to the next, from picture to poem or short story. I have thousands of these doodle stories in my journal. I’ll have to revisit them and see where that journey leads!

I’m looking forward to doing this with my kids! Thanks for the inspiration!

I cannot draw at all, but I. Can. Do. This. It reminds me of looking at clouds and seeing what I can see. Yes! Your up-coming books sound like lots of fun, and this inspirational art spark will get me going. Thanks, Ashley!

You sound like fun, and gave us very open and creative ideas…☺️

What a wonderful way to immerse yourself into your main character’s experience! Thank you for sharing such fun ways to ignite creativity.

Congratulations on your books! Thanks for the exercise in creativity. Using the non dominant hand will free up any concerns about perfection.

A slime-full of ideas and what a technique you have. Congrats and we’ll look forward to your books. I wish you more in the future.

This is so much fun! Thanks for encourage us to expand our creative outlets. I’m looking forward to letting my left hand take center stage and see what it comes up with. Your art in Frankenslime is fun, I can hardly wait to get the book.

Thanks for sharing this technique!

Great suggestion. I am not an artist, but I’m going to give this a try.

Love this: “As adults, we tend to look at things analytically and can sometimes forget to have fun.” I try to remember this just in regular life, but it is especially helpful as a writer!

As a stick figure artist, I love the concept of creating with this simple exercise. This is also something so fun I can do with my kiddos to help them spur their own creativity and storytelling. I can’t wait to read your slime books- how fun!

Slime is my muse! Thank you so much for sharing your process. I totally agree about the big paper, by the way! I bought some and my son couldn’t stop drawing for weeks!

What a fun idea. Thank you!!

I love how deeply you immersed yourself into experimenting with slime to inspire your illustrations!

What fun! Thanks for letting me a child~like artist for a moment!

This is great! I’m going to do it right NOW! Thank you.

I LOVE this reminder to play! Perhaps it is more important than ever when the world feels more serious than ever. And your illustrations are gorgeous. Thank you!

Thank you for the inspiration. This was a fun post.

Fun ideas! Thank you, Ashley! Looking forward to reading your book.

Fun post! Thank you, Ashley! Looking forward to reading your book.

Thanks for these creative ideas!

Thanks for the fun post and tips 🙂

Ashley, this is such a fun wonderful post with so many suggestions to get creative. Thank you.

Thank you! Today suddenly feels like a good day to make slime with the kids. 🙂

Well, this sounds like a fabulous idea. Will definitely try it out this year. And if we can get this pandemic under control… I think this would be even better as a shared activity with my 3-year-old niece!

Great info! Thanks for sharing! This brought back memories of my 3rd grade classroom squiggle books! The teacher would start a squiggle and we’d have to turn into something and write a story about it. Time to start creating my adult squiggle book! 〰〰✍️❤️

I love the art exercise and will definitely be trying it!

The exercise sounds fun. I have a whole roll of packing paper. Maybe I should unroll it, grab a crayon and create. Since I’d never keep the cat and dog off it, I guess I could make it a family project and dip their paws in paint. Ha ha. I actually took a class to teach my dog to paint before and she’s a better artist than me. 😜

So fun and creative. I’ll be on the look out for your books. Thank you, Ashley!

Can’t wait to try the drawing exercise. Love you illustrations.

Frankenslime…love it! Thank you for your post!

So fun! Now I’m brainstorming how to get some bigger paper.

‘Inspiration constantly exists around us.’ So true! Thank you for your fun and creative post.

Great ideas. I am a writer but you have inspired me to create from another angle, i.e., visually first and so I think I’ll have a go at it! Slimes a-wasting… lol!

This art exercise is going to be a hoot!

I’ll definitely have the slime of my life with this fun exercise.

Fun is good!! Thanks for sharing!!

Great post – I look forward to fun! Thanks for the inspiration.

Thank you, Ashley! Looking forward to trying the exercise!

This is fabulous! I could do this activity all day. Just tried it once and got 3 potential stories … one of them has legs I think. Thank you so much.

I would love to illustrate my own manuscripts but don’t know how acceptable it is for a first time submitter. But, I keep pluggimg along, one day at a time. Thanks for the tips.

Interesting. This book sounds really good. I am looking forward to it and to see your work. I have absolutely no drawing skills, but you gave me some hope. Lol.

My kids and students LOVE slime! I think playing with it is so good for the brain. As a “serious” artist I sometimes have trouble playing. This is a good reminder to play!!

Slime is a big hit with both my boys. I loved your drawing exercise idea!

My grandkids LOVE slime. I must have these two books!

What a great exercise, I love it! My husband looked at me funny, but then he could actually make out what turned my scribble into, so I call that a success! Now to write the story…

This is like a DIY Rorschach test for picture books! I loved this idea so much I did it today and came up with an awesome idea from what “drew”! Thank you so much!

Love your puns. And this sounds like a great exercise to try! Thanks you, Ashley!

Love the inspiration for helping yourself find ideas.

Thanks for your post!

This is an exercise that frees up the mind, as much for a writer as an illustrator.

Thank you for your energy and inspiration!

Great post, Ashley! I love your methodology – and the wordplay! Thank you for encouraging us to find other ways to approach our creativity!

Thanks for sharing this exercise to inspire ideas!

Love the illustration with all the different types of slime!

Ashley, Thanks for a great idea! Heading to my studio to grab some big paper right away. (This is my kind of inspiration!) Your slimey books look wonderful. Wishing you much success.

Ashley, this is awesome! As an aspiring author/illustrator, I do lots of blind gestures that somehow magically turn into creatures… but I haven’t used this exercise as a means of writing brainstorming. Such a great way to thing simultaneously about words and pictures!

Thanks for the tips!

I just did the drawing exercise. I can’t draw AT ALL, but it was fun, and gave me an idea. Thank you, Ashley!

Thanks Ashley! This is a great exercise 🙂

Terrific post, Ashley! I love your suggestion to play. I haven’t really played in a looong time. I also love your drawing activity, except I’m practically paralyzed with my left hand. It will come out looking like a blob. My right hand won’t like it at all.

We are all artists!! Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

We are all artists! Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

I will try this and I have BIG paper! Thanks!

It’s slime to say thank you for a great post! I love your ideas for staying creative, Ashley. Congrats on your books – can’t wait to read them!

As a complete non-artist, I will assume that the only way is forward with this idea. Can’t wait to see what my left hand will come up with!

I’m not a writer/illustrator and my kiddos are too old for the school visit but I wanted to say how much fun it is to look for hidden gems in a scribble! I think I’m the only person who “sees” my objects but that’s the best part.

Your exercise of closing your eyes and making sweeping movements brought back a memory of my sister hiding crayons. When we did not want to take our naps we used the crayons and made sweeping swirls on the wall above our bed (a huge design) and then we hunted for all the things the swirls created. Of course, our Mother was not happy with our art work. Cannot wait to try this with my non-dominant hand. . . but not on my wall.

Thanks for the advice & encouragement, Ashley!

Congratulations on the slime books!
I am not an illustrator but I do have a large sketchbook I plan on getting out and drawing something with my left hand, this should be interesting, thanks for the advice.

Love the book cover! Can’t wait to try your fun technique. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks very much for the post!

Thanks, Ashley!

Oh my! The play on words is fabulous with this title (and future one). Can’t wait to see it!

The drawing exercise to mine ideas sounds so promising. Thanks for the idea!

Ashley, I had such a good slime reading your post! (You’re contagious.) “Slime flies” – that is beyond clever. And so is your non-dominant hand drawing exercise. Congrats on all your upcoming books!

Art can provide the path to finding new ideas – no matter how well you can draw. Thank you for guiding us through this process and helping us brainstorm.

“Don’t forget to have fun” is great advice, especially in these days that seem like fun is long gone. I have plenty of pinterest failures, too. I never thought of using them in a story until now Thanks!

I loved this idea. I have had large paper sitting around for decades. Literally. And I am going to pull them out to sketch scene pages for a HUGE storyboard where I am stuck in the digital small screen . THANKS FOR THIS!

I kinda love how terrible I am at drawing – it makes it something I can do free of any inner critic. I love your advice to use this – thanks!

Ooh, I love your palette! It’s so bright, fun, and energetic! A great cover. Can’t wait to read Frankenslime.

Your billboard paper must have looked like a big drop cloth. How fun for an artist. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing. Your billboard paper drawings reminds me of the end rolls of newspaper that my mom brought home for me to draw on.

This was so much fun! I had to stop reading several times to jot down ideas. Thanks so much, Ashley. 🙂

Ashley, I am getting my paper out NOW!

Fun post. I can’t wait to read your and Joy’s book in July. I will try your drawing exercise. Thanks, Ashley.

Oh, wow! Drawing on that giant piece of billboard paper sounds so fun. I love this exercise — thank you!

Wow! I loved this so much! I accidentally drew a fancy hen and jotted down my idea. I’ll definitely be doing this more. Thank you SO much!

Looking for the biggest piece of paper I can find. Thank you!

Thank you for reminding us to play! And taking us on a deep slime dive : )

Thanks for the reminder to play. and I love your idea for the creative drawing exercise.

Love this reminder to play with art and look at it in various ways. So fun!

Eee, sounds fun!

Ashley thanks for the technics you share with us, I like the one that use the left hand to draw, and then move the paper in different directions.

Thank you for sharing.

Aww the book cover is adorable! loved the word play and this activity reminded me of a game we played when we were little-

What a great way to start my creative day!

Such a fun post. Thank you for sharing ideas.

Presence is a present!

What a fun idea! I can’t wait to try this later today. Also, my kids are going to flip about Frankenslime. Congrats!

Ashley, this was such a fun prompt! As i was drawing on a huge piece of paper with my non-dominant hand (without looking!) i was thinking “what am i doing” — then as i turned the result around and around on my desk, had a wonderful idea for a story. THANK YOU!

What a fun idea!

Ashley, this is wonderful! I love the wordplay. And what fun to become a slime expert! Thank you for this post!!

How fun is that!

Thank you for this creative, inspiring post, Ashley! I can’t wait to try this exercise again! 🙂 Congratulations on your upcoming books!!!

Especially good exercise for non-illustrators. This was fun. Thank you.

How fun! Thanks for the inspiration, Ashley!

I am a professor who teaches Arts for the Developing Child and my dissertation is arts integration to foster learning and creativity! I have used some of your strategies in crafting my dissertation and have shared some of these approaches with my early childhood education undergrads!

I think I drew a very confused path! Thank you, this was fun!! Off to make sense of my line 🙂

A rollercoaster comes to mind with my drawing. Or a large molar tooth, hurricane, volcano, or crashing waves. LOL. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m always encouraging my grandsons to sit and draw with me or color. And I started drawing with pastels last year. That creativity does help with my writing.

Thanks for your suggestion. Fun. Now you’ve inspired me to do it with slime!

This was such a fun exercise. My 7 year old son loved creating alongside me the other day. Thank you for inspiring a great afternoon! Still very clear that I should stick with writing and not drawing. Ha!

This was such a fun exercise! My 7 year old loved creating alongside me the other day. Thank you for inspiring a fun afternoon. Still very clear that I should stick with writing instead of drawing. Ha!

Fun, fun, fun! Let’s draw and dream BIG!

This exercise will definitely be a challenge for me! But I always love hearing from an illustrator’s perspective. Thank you.

Thanks for the inspiration

I enjoyed your post very much! I’m a fan of slime, having worked with middle school students making it in my tutoring job. FUN STUFF! Thanks.

Slime. I have never made it but reading this makes me want to try it! This also makes me want to take a try at drawing a bit. Not that I want anyone to see it but to just have fun with it. To remember that inner child and just draw without judgement. Thanks

Great idea! We used to do the left-hand (or non-dominant hand) exercise in drawing 101 in my BFA program. I loved it- especially bc I was so rigid and trying to make everything so perfect and realistic. I loved this exercise as a way to think abstractly and loosen up!

What a creative and fun idea! Congrats on your new books!

What a fun idea! I admit, sometimes I forget to play and think like a kid. This may help….

I love having ideas for artists as well as the writers. I also love the idea of using the non-dominant hand to create chaos, then find order in the chaos. Make us think!

Thanks so much! Love this post!

I like the idea of changing up your habits/process, such as switching hands, to see where it leads. Thanks!

Slime rhyme any time. Never mind.

Thanks for the ideas. It’s fun to get the perspective of the illustrator!

Can’t wait to try this — what fun, permission to play!

Love this idea!

Looking forward to trying this with my family tonight! I’m going to line the table in giant sheets of butcher paper! Thanks for the inspiration. -Robin

Sounds like great fun!

I loved this exercise! I am one of those people who can’t draw stick figures properly, grin, but I was able to somehow draw a creature (I think it’s an animal) that intrigues me. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

I think you hit it on the head saying, “As adults, we tend to look at things analytically and can sometimes forget to have fun.” Writing should be about having fun and that is what I will be focusing on!

I love this, Ashley! I’m not much of a drawer, but have made it a goal to try more often this year. This sounds like something I can do! Oh, and I’m in NC, so maybe I’ll meet you some day, with SCBWI. Thanks for the inspiration!

What a fun way to find your next idea! Thank you!

I love this idea! It’s fun and a great way to free up those creative ideas. Even if nothing immediate comes to mind, it’ll be fun to draw with no limitations!

Thank you! So much fun! -jenna feldman

I’m a big fan of play, puns, and non-dominant hand drawings! I obviously loved this post… So fun!!

Coloring on a huge piece of paper does sound fun! Thanks for the idea and congratulations on your books!

Love the idea of nondominant hand drawing for 3 secs. Then shaping it into something concrete. Thanks for the post.

I can only imagine what will appear when I draw with my left (non-dominant) hand. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks for the inspiration.

Wow, thank you so much for this! I absolutely loved doing this exercise and will do it more often going forward. My scribbles brought to life a little girl sleeping on a sailboat and a blue whale… I think there’s a story there for sure.

Hi Ashley- What a creative idea! And your story makes me want to go and play with slime!

I made slime with my grands and it was a failure but we had loads of fun! i’ll try drawing with my nondominant hand.

So much fun!! Thanks!!

Thanks for sliming us with a great idea to generate ideas!

A slime fest! I think it sounds like a good way to spend a pandemic afternoon.

Slime is satisfying and so it this drawing prompt! I drew what was obviously a very surprised frog:)

What a fun suggestion, and post! Than you!

This was a deliciously wonderful post!

Thank you Ashley! That sounds like a super fun way to get ideas:)

This post was a lot of fun! I really like the draw something with your non dominant hand! Thank you!

Can’t wait to see Frankenslime!

Great twist on inkblots! I think I’ll grab a non-newtonian peanut butter and honey sandwich and start creating. 🙂

Thank you! This was a fantastic exercise. Even before I started drawing in the details of what I was “seeing,” an idea popped into my head. No matter how I turned the page, I could see the same inspiring image from all directions.

I did this with my kids and it was SO FUN! We loved coming up with stories based on the drawings!

Great post Ashley! Thank you for the ideas!

Love the ideas…especially the “big” ones!

Thank you, Ashley! For about two solid years, one end of our dining room table was covered with slime and slime making supplies – I can relate! I love the idea of drawing freely and letting the shapes guide you!

Thank for sharing these great ideas. Absolutely slimed!

Hilarity rules in this exercise — thanks for the inspiration, Ashley!

I need to put some of that packing paper I’m always getting to creative use. Thanks for the inspiration.

Such creative ideas, Ashley! I’ve always loved slime, and even though I’m not an illustrator, I love your ideas around using art as a way of tapping into my next story.

Okay, BIG paper turned out to be a foam board for me 🙂 Steps Three through Five were fun – full of head-scratching, what the heck, oh wait, moments. 🙂 Creativity rules in this exercise you shared!

I love this drawing prompt. Sounds incredibly helpful, thank you!

I’m a former chemist, so I love how you jumped right into research—and made tons of slime!

My best memory is taking out banner paper and drawing with my kids when they were little. I may have some laying around here somewhere. Thank you!

Thank you for the inspiration (and the puns)!

What a fun illustrator exercise for coming up with story ideas! I can’t wait to try it!

FUN! I loved this. Hilarious (for me, anyway) to see where my mind went once I opened my eyes and saw what I drew. Congratulations on your books!

Love your illustrations, Ashley! This is a great idea for getting the creative juices flowing. Thank you.

I used to play a game with my nephew that was your drawing exercise exactly! We each made doodles, exchanged them, and then had a time limit to complete a drawing from it. Passed a lot of time and it’s always amazing to see what you can dream up from a simple line, curve, shape. Thanks for bringing back that happy memory. 🙂

Love this technique. Used it and have an idea from it. Thanks!

Congratulations on your books, Ashley! Very exciting. I love drawing on big paper too. Thanks for the tips!

So slime-tastic, thank you, will need to give it a try!

Slime is cathartic!!

Creative moms are the best! Frankenslime sounds fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

This is such a fun exercise to get the creative juices flowing! Looking forward to the launch of these slime-tastic books later this year!

This exercise reminds me of the Happy Little Accidents “game.” It’s fun and makes everyone feel like an artist. 🙂

Great post Ashley, love the “Once upon a slime!”Word-play and how you found inspiration in analyzing your subject in a very hands-on way (also identified with the Pinterest fails because who hasn’t had those! Haha) Also truly appreciated your suggestion of using a giant sheet of paper. I filled one this quarantine with all adorable robot drawings and I would agree it was magical! I didn’t know I could do that! Thanks for sharing your insight!

I did this blind scribble technique with my girls, for homeschool art, and they found it so freeing! I love it as a technique for story creators, because there are endless possibilities- no limits, here! It even gave me an idea for a new MS, so I really appreciate your sharing ideas with us. Thanks so much!

Putting a huge piece of paper on the floor sounds fun! I want to do this with my kids this week. My father in law sometimes brings home old blueprints from job sites for my kids to go crazy on.

Huge paper is BRILLIANT for inspiration!

Thanks for a great post!

I love how you physically immerse yourself in your creativity. Nothing feels more real than using our senses to create and explore. What a great post and fab news about your publications.

I love this fun post! Frankenslime sounds like a great book that I would love to read! Thank you for sharing this inspirational post!

I love reading your comments and hearing your opinion.

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