Creative exercise #1: Wild Westios

From the course: Creativity Bootcamp

  • Course details

    Think you're not creative? Think again! Creativity is a skill—one you can develop with practice. And all it takes to start flexing your creative muscles is an hour of your time and our own Creativity Bootcamp. In this fun, hands-on course, creative director Stefan Mumaw guides you through five interactive training exercises that will help you (and a partner!) boost your creative output and produce even more innovative ideas. You'll explore some common misconceptions about creativity, learn the hidden value of the "stupid idea," and, through the course of the exercises, discover the three bootcamp commands for energizing your creative process.

    Interested in learning more about the creative process? Check out Stefan's other courses on


    • Click here to view Stefan Mumaw’s instructor page

      Stefan Mumaw

      Creative Director at First Person

      Stefan Mumaw is the director of narrative strategy at First Person, a story and experience design shop.

      In addition to his work with First Person—the San Francisco-based company where he currently leverages his storytelling expertise—Stefan has authored six books, the most recent being Creative Boot Camp, a 30-day crash course on creativity. Previously, he authored Chasing the Monster Idea, Redesigning Websites, and Simple Websites, and co-authored Caffeine for the Creative Team and Caffeine for the Creative Mind with Wendy Lee Oldfield. He has spoken at numerous creative industry gatherings over the years and has been known to embarrass himself and those around him if given the opportunity.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Defining creativity

    - In order to do this, I am going to start off with a creative exercise. Most of the exercises that we are going to do today are meant to be silly, and fun, and stupid, and that's awesome. So let's have some fun doing it. And they're also going to be meant to be done fairly short, so we're going to have a bunch of three minute exercises or a five minute exercise, but, you'll see where we go. Let's get started on this concept. You guys are already in pairs. For those of you watching at home, if you can get your pair. Grab your dog, grab your mom, whoever you got with you, grab them, pull them together. And we're going to do these exercises together. The first one is called Wild Westios. You're going to get in teams of two. Together you are charged with writing down as many cereal box toys as you can think of if boxes of breakfast cereal were around during the nostalgic era of the American wild, wild west. From cowboys and indians to horses and blacksmiths, write down as many as you can. I'm going to give you three minutes to do it. You've got a piece of paper, a pad of paper. The two of you are one team. You're going to create one list. If boxes of breakfast cereal were around during the wild,wild west, what could or would have been in those boxes as prizes, okay? I'm going to give you three minutes. I want you, again, to write down one list between the two of you. So the two of you conspire to create one list. Three minutes, you guys ready? Get together, ready, go. (teams chatting quietly) Time!

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