With more daylight hours and often lighter work or school schedule, summer is a great time to take up an extracurricular project or stoke creativity. To help you make the most out of those long summer days, here are 11 ideas for projects and exercises that will get your creative juices flowing and offer rewards that will stick with you in every season.
Create a Digital Family Recipe Book
Not only does cooking teach life skills, but for school age kids—and let’s face it, many adults—it’s a nice reinforcement of fractions. Have kids practice making cherished family recipes, then take the project a step further with Spark! Use Spark Post to write out the ingredients (like the templates above), Spark Video to capture the steps (and the fun) like the example below, and Spark Page to pull it all together in one shareable, personalized document that’ll preserve your memories and your family’s prized dishes.
Make a travelogue of a summer trip
Your vacation photos deserve better than being stuck in your camera roll. Preserve your memories by creating a travel journal in Spark Page or Video. The mobile apps make it easy to add photos or video clips to your project while you’re on the go, spice it up with text and themes, and publish before you’ve even boarded your flight back home.
Flex your fundraising muscle
Nothing says summer nostalgia like bake sales, car washes, and lemonade stands. And sure these classic entrepreneurial endeavors don’t require much beyond a well-trafficked corner and simple ingredients, but easy event invites and advertisements can take this afternoon pastime to the next level. Whether your end goal is to earn enough cash to redecorate your room, support a cause close to your heart, or begin saving for a dream trip, you can up your fundraising game by ensuring you have pro-looking announcements and invitations and/or a fun, engaging, and easily-sharable promotional video, such as the cute one below, created by a young entrepreneur. Or consider bringing your stand into the 21st century by geotagging a graphic like the one above on Instagram to see if it increases foot traffic. You might even offer something special to customers who find you that way. Now that’s a lesson in savvy social marketing!
Launch a book club
Grab reading buddies and organize semi-regular get-togethers or take a page out of The Silent Book Club’s book by joining existing chapters or online forums. SBC doesn’t force anyone to read a particular title and each city chapter organizes offline get-togethers, but you can connect with its global reading community online where members share recommendations, #bookporn, and related articles. If your reading community is the virtual kind, sharing quote graphics and book trailers, like the one below from a young Spark user, are fun ways to discuss what you’re reading. (And may even fulfill a summer homework assignment.)
Collect your favorite quotes from your book
Not only can visual note-taking help you retain what you read, but it’s always fun to look back on the ideas, words, phrases that captivated you. Turn excerpts into graphics with Spark Post and save your book from scribbles and dog-eared corners.
#FeedGoals challenge – Day 13: Time for one of my favorite books 📖 „It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.“ 📚👨💻 I read it every now and then cause it’s packed with really good hints about the designer life I have to remind myself from time to time. Thank you, #paularden 👍 SWIPE LEFT for my favorite quotes! . Why do we strive for excellence when mediocrity is required? . Do not seek praise. Seek criticism. . Don’t be afraid of silly ideas. . If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you are playing by the rules. . . @adobespark @tailwindapp #book #read #booklover #quoteoftheday #feedgoals #bookstagram #reading #instabook #motivation #inspiration #designer #designerlife #bookaddict #bookish #bookphotography #booknerdigans #books #bookstagramfeature #bookporn #booklove #bookstagrammer #graphicdesign #booksofinstagram #becauseofreading
Revamp your resume
Okay, we realize that few things bring a yawn as swiftly as the thought of working on a resume. But we’re officially saying goodbye to the era of dry, boring CVs—and the alternative is much more fun to create. Summer can be a great time to revisit how effectively you are aligning your personal or professional presentation with your goals, and to experiment with how best to showcase your strengths and accomplishments in fresh and visually engaging formats. Here’s Spark’s guide to creating awesome resumes, along with a couple of our favorites below.
Do an Instagram challenge
Sharing your work, especially within a supportive community, can help you overcome the self doubt It’s one of the reasons we love social media challenges, like this one, which invites aspiring makers to create art daily for 100 days and share pics on Instagram. Here’s a sample from a participant and Spark’s own UX Designer, Amanda Fetterly:
Research and document your family history
It’s hard to imagine a more worthwhile endeavor than this: last year, eleven-year-old Naomi Silverman set out to learn more about her departed great-grandmother Rita. She traced her family tree, researched the origins of family surnames and occupations of relatives, and asked family members to share their memories and anecdotes. She put it all together in a series of Spark Videos, and the result is a fascinating and heartwarming tribute that is sure to be treasured for years to come by the whole family. The project even earned her first prize in the international art competition My Family Story and scored her a trip to Tel Aviv! Check out one of her videos below.
Challenge yourself to create everyday
With its clear beginning and end, a vacation can be a wonderful time to jumpstart a new habit. Time limitations and creative constraints can often be the difference between putting pen, pencil, or paint to paper (or the digital equivalent) and wallowing in creativity-killing perfectionism. If you have trouble coming up with what to write, draw, paint, photograph etc. try turning to prompts, such as those found in the Chronicle Books series 642 (check out 642 Things to Write About, 642 Things to Draw, 104 Things to Photograph, and 104 Things to Paint). These books are full of prompts such as “list things that can happen in a second” or “photograph an arrow pointing up” or “describe the thoughts of the first man to eat an oyster,” which free you up to focus on creating and can lead to more original, inspired thinking when a deadline or project looms in a professional or school setting.
See 10 more fun exercises that inspire creative thinking.
Create visual representations of your written work
The visual nature of social media has inspired many writers to turn to multimedia in order to reach a larger audience or add a new layer to their work. Check out this awesome tutorial from spoken word poet Paul Tran and artist Emily Ann Hoffman on how to easily create a video that does your words justice.
We’ve also seen writers use graphics to excerpt their work, such as below from @thecalmscribe.
This San Diego-based professor is experimenting with haiku using Spark Post:
— D Maduli-Williams (@dmaduliwilliams) June 27, 2017
Go on a photo walk
A few years ago a Stanford study proved what many suspected: walking can increase creativity and help you find new ways of thinking about problems. While a device-free walk can do wonders and is especially necessary in these digital time, there’s also something about seeing your world through a lens to stoke creativity. Here are a few photo walks that delighted us recently.
Did you create something awesome? Share it with us with the hashtag #AdobeSpark.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash