I is for...

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

– Albert Einstein.

I is for Imagination, Inspiration and Improvisation.

Today’s project is about creative problem solving and limitations. It starts with an image, but this seemingly simple and recognizable decorative owl is actually not just an owl, it is so much more! This collection of geometric and organic shapes is to inspire you to see new possibilities for artistic arrangements.

Imagination will be required to use the shapes that make up the owl into a variety of new options. There are some rules coming up later. Inspiration is to be found in this single image: look at in in many ways and let it inspire you to create something new by means of a collage.


The objective is to create something that is unique and creative from today’s project. What jumps out at you? Make it fit your natural style, or try something new.

Mini Project

Print out the sheets of the components for the owl. You will find a selection of geometric and organic shapes - cut out the basic forms. Play around with the shapes and turn it into a collage of something that IS NOT AN OWL. Click HERE and HERE to download PDFs.


Keep the outcome no bigger than A4 (folio size) and not smaller than 6”x6” (15x15cm). Use the components of one printout per design. In other words, there are different shapes making up the shape of the owl, eyes, beak, wings and a large owl shape as well as the background marks. Within these shapes you will find lines and a variety of shapes, you can cut along these black line shapes and use the newly discovered shapes to create more components for your collage. Improvise and adapt them to create new shapes for your artwork.


One of the following topics per printed out sheet of owl:

  • Still life: Find shapes that are reminiscent of a bowl, fruit and a patterned tablecloth with a vase or pot with plants.

  • Abstract: Is there anything appealing in these shapes that could become a coherent abstract artwork. Look possibly at mid-century, Scandinavian and 50’s textile designs for inspiration.

  • Animal or figurative: A cat, birds, fish, or insects in a nature scene? Could the components be used in this way?

Remember to only use one printout per topic, you can cut out wherever you see a clearly drawn line. Play around with shapes and see what you can come up with that is original and something you like. You do not have to use all the components, but try to use a variety. No additional black drawn lines are to be added! If you like, add colour (pencil or felt tip not paint, it will bleed) to create more definition. If in doubt, keep it simple. Have fun.


This project is about finding creative solutions by adapting one design with its limitations to create something original. What appeals in shapes to you personally? Are there topics or themes that fit in with your style?

You're welcome to share your outcomes in the group’s Facebook page. Please don't post course material or outcomes to to other public Internet sites or to social media.

#creativeleap #imagination #inspiration #improvisation #owl #superowl

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour