100+ Summer Prompts

Looking for some ideas for your summer projects? Here’s a list of words, quotes and expressions that might inspire your next hot idea:

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. —Henry James

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. —Wallace Stevens

Summertime is always the best of what might be. —Charles Bowden

’cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about. —John Mayer

Oh, the summer night,
has a smile of light,
and she sits on a sapphire throne.

—Bryan Procter

You are so much sunshine in every square inch. —Walt Whitman

Live in the sunshine.
Swim in the sea.
Drink in the wild air.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. —Russell Baker

10 things to love about summer
2 hot
A bright, sun shiny day
A day in the sun
A ray of sunshine
A sip of summer
A sizzling summer
A slice of summer
A summer place
A summer to remember
A sweet taste of summer
A taste of summer
Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues
At the pool
Bahama breezes
Baked in the sun
Basking in the sunshine
Bathing beauty
Beachy keen
Beat the heat
Beyond the sea
California dreaming
Catch a wave
Catching rays
Cool by the pool
Cool fun in the hot sun
Dancing on the sand
Days of summer
Delight in the joys of summer
Desert heat
Dive into summer
Dog days of summer
Dreaming of summer
Endless summer
Feel the burn
Feeling hot! Hot! Hot!
Fire up the grill
Firefly summer
Fun in the sand
Fun in the sun
Get set to get wet
Girls just want to have sun
Going for a swim
Good day sunshine
Gotta wear shades
Havin’ a heat wave
Hello sunshine
Here comes the sun
Hot fun in the summer time
Hot summer nights
Hot, hot, hot
I know what you did last summer
I’m gonna let it shine
I’m walking on sunshine
In the good old summertime
It’s a dry heat
It’s a sun shiny day
June bug
Just add water
Just another day to relax
Keeping cool
Lazy days of summer
Lazy summer daze

Let the sun shine in
Let’s sail away
Lickin’ the heat
Life’s a beach
Little mermaid
Little miss sunshine
Lounging by the pool
Made in the shade
Makin’ a splash
Makin’ waves
May the sunshine always find you
Ocean bliss
One fine day
Playing in the sand
Pool boy
Pool party
Pooling around
Poolside
Popsicle weather
Ray Of sunshine
Rise and shine
S is for summer
School’s out for summer
Seasons in the sun
Short sleeves and bare feet
Signs of summer
Sink or swim
Sizzlin’
Slice of summer
Sliding into summer
Slippery when wet
Soak up the sun
Some like it hot
Stayin’ cool in the pool
Summer breeze
Summer days
Summer dreams
Summer fun
Summer in paradise
Summer in the city
Summer nights
Summer secrets
Summertime
Summertime blues
Sun dried
Sun kissed
Sun worshipers
Sunny days
Sunny side up
Sun-sational
Sweet summertime
Taste of summer
The boys Of summer
The dog days of summer
The heat is on
Too hot to handle
Tropical breezes
Tryin’ to keep cool
Walking on sunshine
We’re having a heat wave
Wet ‘n wild
You are my sunshine
You are the sunshine of my life

Theme Ideas

If you do a lot of altered books, art journaling, postcards, artist trading cards, or any other type of mixed-media work, chances are, you start with some sort of theme. Sometimes, those theme ideas just come to you, like a little gift box popping up in your head. When they don't, it helps to have some sort of theme list, so you can scroll through, and get that magic spark to get you going.

For many years, I kept an ever-growing list of themes posted at Go Make Something. When I last updated it in 2014, the list had over 400 theme suggestions.

Here's the newly updated version of that list, with over 500 theme ideas:

60’s
70’s
80’s
Abstract
Advertising
Advocacy
Africa
Alice in Wonderland
All about me
Alphabet or dictionary
Altered photos
American fifties ads
Anatomy
Ancient civilizations
Ancient cultures
Ancient history
Ancient spirits
Andy Warhol
Angels
Animals
Antique maps
Anything antique
Aqua
Arabian nights
Archetypes
Around the world
Art and politics
Art Nouveau
Asian
Astrology
Astronomy
At the beach
At the movies
Au Naturel
Autumn
Babies
Bad art
Bad habits
Bad things
Bats
Bears
Beauty myths
Beeswax
Best inventions in the world
Bingo
Birds
Bizarre
Black
Black and white
Black widows
Blue
Board books
Boats
Body parts
Books
Bowling
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Breaking Bad
Bronze
Bucket list
Butterflies
Camelot
Candyland
Carnival
Cartoon characters
Carve your own stamps
Cats
Celebration of the body
Celestial
Celtic
Cemeteries
Censorship
Chakras
Childhood
Childhood memories
Children
Children’s literature
Chocolate
Christmas
Circles
Circus
Cityscapes
Classical composers
Clockwork Orange
Clowns
Cocktails
Coffee
Collage
Colors
Comics
Compassion
Conflict
Consumerism
Consumption
Cookies
Costumes
Cowboys
Cowgirls
Crazy weather
Create your own goddess
Creative Life
Creepy
Crime
Crime and punishment
Cryptography
Culture
Cultures
Cupcakes
Cyberpunk
Dance
Dark and strange
Darkness
Day of the Dead
Denim and diamonds
Desire
Digital
Disco
Disguise
Distortions
Dolls
Doors
Doors & windows
Dragonflies
Dragons
Dream landscapes
Dreams
Ecology
Eggs
Egyptian
Elegance
Elements
Elephants
Emotional self-portrait
Emotions
Enchanted forest
Endangered occupations
Environment
Experiments
Eyeglasses
Eyes
Fabric
Faces
Fairies
Fairy tales and folklore
Family Tree
Famous landmarks
Famous poets
Famous women
Fantasy
Fashion
Faux postage
Favorite books
Favorite characters
Favorite films
Favorite things
Felines
Feminine mystique
Fibers
Fiesta
Figments of your imagination
Film
Finding Nemo
Flamingoes
Flower power
Flowers
Fonts and Lettering
Food/cooking/edible stuff
Footprints
Foreign text
Fortune cookie sayings
Found objects
Found poetry
Four seasons
Freedom
Fruits & vegetables
Full Circle
Fun
Gadgets
Game of Thrones
Game pieces
Games people play
Garden tools
Gardens
Genealogy/ancestors
Geometric shapes
Ghosts
Girlfriends
Gnomes
Goals
Goddess in every woman
Goddesses
Gold
Graffiti
Graphic Novels
Grasses
Gratitude
Great Outdoors
Green
Growing Up
Growth
Gypsy
Halloween
Hand-drawn
Hands
Handwritten
Happiness is…
Harry Potter
Harvest
Hats
Haunted houses
Head in the Clouds
Hearts
Herbs
Heroines
Historical costumes
Hobbies
Holidays
House & home
House of blues
Houses
Human anatomy
If I won the lottery
Imaginary maps
Imaginary places
India
Insects
Inside Out
Inspiration
Instruction booklets
Italy
Jazz
Jesters and jokers
Joy
Junk yard
King Arthur
Kings and Queens
Kitsch
Labels
Lace
Landscapes
Languages
Lavender
Leaves
Leonardo da Vinci
Life’s lessons
Lighthouses
Lists
Literature
Lord of the Rings
Loss
Lost
Lost things
Love
Love and romance

Macabre
Mad Men
Mad scientist
Made up countries or lands
Magic garden
Magic of the ordinary
Magical creatures
Magical recipes
Mandalas
Maps
Mardi gras
Marie Antoinette
Masks
Masquerade
Medicine and/or Anatomy
Men
Mermaids
Merry-go-round
Messy & Sloppy
Metal
Middle East
Mimes
Minions
Mirrors
Mixed media
Money
Monochromatic
Monsters
Motherhood
Motorcycles
Motown
Movie Posters
Moving parts
Murder
Murder mystery
Music
Music of the spheres
My favorite things
My life
Myself
Mythological creatures
Mythology
Native American
Nature
Nature spirits
Neverland
Newspaper clippings
Night
Nightmare before Christmas
Numbers
Ocean
Odd objects
Ode to famous artists
Office supplies
Old Hollywood
Old-timer cars
One image
Optical illusions
Orange
Out of Place
Owls
Oxymorons
Paradise
Paradox
Paris
Past times
Patchwork
Pattern
Penny dreadfuls
Pets
Photography
Photos from the attic
Pictures
Pin ups
Pirates
Pizza
Places you want to go
Play
Play on words
Poetry
Politics
Portraits
Positive affirmations
Postal
Postcard
Power
Pre-Raphaelites (or any artistic movement)
Princess
Printmaking
Protest
Pumpkins
Puppets
Purple
Puzzles
Queen of hearts
Questions
Quotations
Race
Rain
Rainbow
Recycled materials
Recycling
Red
Red, white & blue
Reflections
Resolutions
Robin Hood
Robots & spaceships
Roosters
Rubber stamping
Rubbings
Sacred spaces
Santas
Scary movies
School days
Sea
Seascapes
Seasonal celebrations
Seasons
Second chance
Self-portrait
Serengeti
Seven deadly sins
Seven wonders
Sewing
Shattered Images
Shrines
Snap shots
Snowmen
Solar System
Solitude
Song lyrics
Spells and magic
Spice
Spirituality
Sports
Spring
Star gazing
Steampunk
Stenciled motifs
Still life
Stories
Story lines
Storybook
Structures
Studio 54
Summer
Super heroes
Superheroes
Surrealist
Swirls
Symbolism
Symbols
Tags
Tailgating
Talking trees
Tarot cards
Tea
Tea Time
Teddy bears
Telephones
Textures
Theater
Things with wings
Through a Window
Throw away collage
Tim Burton
Time
Time and Space
Time travel
Torture
Toys
Traditional costumes
Transformation
Transparencies
Travel
Treasure decos
Treasure maps
Tree of life
Trees
Trivia
Trucks
Truth or dare
T-shirt sayings
Turquoise
Typewriter
Under the sea
Under the stars
Underwater
Unicorns
Unreal cities
Un-themed
Urban Art
Urban moments
Urban vs. Rural
Use acrylics only
Use pencils only
Use the computer only
Use watercolor only
Using lace
Vampires and creatures of the night
Venice
Vintage
Vintage fashion
Vintage men
Vintage nudes
Vintage photos
Vintage voyage
Vintage wallpaper
Wall art
Water
Weather
Weird
Weird science
Weirdness
What I'm doing now
Where I live
Whimsical
White
Wild animals
Wild west
Wild women
Windows
Wine
Wine, women and song
Wings
Winter
Winter wonderland
Witch queens
Witches
Wizard of Oz
Women
Women heroines
Wonderful women
Words of wisdom
World Holidays
World Religons
World Within a World
Yellow
Zen
Zetti
Zodiac
Zoom In

100 Garden Expressions

Because one of my hobbies is gardening, a lot of my work contains references to growing things. I'm always looking for a few quick words to add to a journal page or altered book layout that is filled with flowers.

Here are 100+ short garden quotes and expressions I've gathered along the way:

A garden is a friend you can visit any time.
A good garden may have some weeds.
A little dirt never hurt.
A rose by any other name.
A rose is a rose is a rose…
April showers bring May flowers.
Barefoot in the garden
Beautiful blooms
Beauty in bloom
Bloom
Bloom and grow
Bloom where you are planted.
Blooming with memories
Bright as a sunflower
Bring on the rain.
Butterfly garden
Butterfly kisses
Color my world.
Crazy daisy
Cream of the crop
Dig it
Every flower must grow through dirt.
Every rose has its thorns.
Everything's coming up roses.
Explore the outdoors
Farm fresh
Flower child
Flower power
Flowers are love's truest language.
Flowers feed the soul.
Flowers never fade.
Fresh as a daisy
From little seeds grow mighty trees.
Full bloom
Garden as though you will live forever.
Garden girl
Garden goddess
Garden of Eden
Garden party
Gardening is cheaper than therapy.
Gardens feed the soul.
Gardens grow the spirit.
Gather friends like flowers.
Gather the seeds of love.
Get growing
Go green
Good day sunshine
Green thumb
Grow
Grow like a weed.
Grow where you are planted.
Grow, dammit!
Growing season

Harvest time
Here's the dirt:
Home grown
How does your garden grow?
How lovely is the silence of growing things.
I never promised you a rose garden.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Inch by inch, row by row.
Innocent as flowers
Into every garden, a little rain must fall.
Leave room in your garden for the fairies to dance.
Let the sun shine
Lettuce turnip the beet.
Life begins the day you start a garden.
Life is a garden. Dig it.
Love blooms here.
Love bug
Love makes everything grow.
May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Morning glory
My heart is in the garden.
My secret garden
Nature lover
Never enough thyme
Off the beaten path
One is never closer to God than in the garden.
Peace, love, garden
Petal power
Plant happiness
Plant kindness and gather love.
Play in the dirt.
Put down roots
Reach for the sun.
Remember your roots.
Seize the daisy.
Stop and smell the roses.
The Earth laughs in flowers.
The grass is always greener
There is a garden in my heart.
Things grow better with love.
This place is for the birds.
Time began in a garden.
Tiptoe through the tulips.
To everything there is a season…
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
We are all different flowers from the same garden.
Welcome to the garden.
Where flowers bloom, so does hope.
Wild and free
Wild flower

Journal Prompts About Me

Do you ever sit down to work in your art journal, and lack the spark to get you going? Here's a list of prompts that are all about you:

The year I was born.
My favorite color.
My favorite place in the whole world.
My favorite animal.
My favorite words.
My favorite foods.
My favorite quote.
My favorite song.
My favorite childhood memory.
My favorite season.
My favorite artist.
My idea of a perfect day.
My pet peeves.
The 10 (or 20) best things about me.
The thing that makes me happiest.
The thing that makes me saddest.
The thing(s) people don't know about me.
The 10 (or 20) things that stress me out.
The things I'm best at.
My worst habit.
The view from my window.
My daily uniform.
My role model.
My dream for the future.
My biggest virtue.
What I overheard today.

My favorite sound.
What I'm looking forward to.
My goals for today (or this week, month or year).
My least favorite words.
My guilty pleasures.
The way to win my heart.
What I ate today.
My biggest fear.
My proudest moment.
Weird things that I like.
My bucket list.
The things I cannot live without.
My wish list.
My best friend.
The best decision I've ever made.
The person I most admire.
What I'd do if I won the lottery.
My dream job.
The best thing that happened to me today.
My dream house.

100 Quotes That Begin With “Art Is”

I use a lot of quotes in my work, and over the years, I've collected a ton of them about art. I recently did a set of pages in a friend's altered book, using quotes that began "art is" as the background. It's amazing how many artists have tried their hand at defining exactly what art is, and what it isn't.

Feel free to use these quotes to help spark your next piece, or as journal prompts. Or maybe, to encourage you to try to put into your own words exactly what art is.

A – C

Art is whatever you choose to frame.
Fleur Adcock

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
Theodor Adorno

Art is about paying attention.
Laurie Anderson

Art is an experience, not the formulation of a problem.
Lindsay Anderson.

Art is an intersection of many human needs.
Carl Andre

Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish.
Aristotle

Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother's womb.
Jean Arp

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.
W. H. Auden

Art is an international language, understood by all.
Igor Babailov

Art is like therapy; what comes up is what comes up.
Nick Bantock

Art is man's distinctly human way of fighting death.
Leonard Baskin

Art is the tree of life.
William Blake

Art is frozen zen.
Reginald H. Blyth

Art is manipulation without intervention.
Louise Bourgeois

Art is the only thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.
Elizabeth Bowen

Art is everywhere, and everywhere is art.
Brandon Boyd

Art is a sense of magic.
Stan Brakhage

Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
Berthold Brecht

Art is a real thing. Art is the soul of the whisper of the cloud on the horizon.
Peter William Brown

Art is born in attention. Its midwife is detail.
Julia Cameron

Art is the product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the confused.
Al Capp

Art is a harmony parallel with nature.
Paul Cezanne

Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers, and never succeeding.
Marc Chagall

Art is a liaison between some sort of deranged mentality and others who are not going through it.
John Chamberlain

Art is the triumph over chaos.
John Cheever

Art is science made clear.
Jean Cocteau

Art is not a pastime but a priesthood.
Jean Cocteau

Art is ruled uniquely by the imagination.
Benedetto Croce

D – K

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
Leonardo da Vinci

Art is wine, and experience is the brandy we distill from it.
Robertson Davies

Art is the most beautiful of all lies.
Claude Debussy

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
Edgar Degas

Art is really a battle.
Edgar Degas

Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic.
Annie Dillard

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
Theodore Dreiser

Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp.
John Donne

Art is the one thing that speaks to everyone.
David Dory

Art is the escape from personality.
T. S. Eliot

Art is the path of the creator to his work.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Art is a jealous mistress.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art is a mad search for individualism.
Paul Gaugin

Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
Paul Gauguin

Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life.
Robert Genn

Art is a pigment of your imagination.
Darcy Gerdes

Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.
Kahlil Gibran

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does, the better.
Andre Gide

Art is the beginning of vision into the realm of eternal life.
Lawren Harris

Art is an outsider, a gypsy over the face of the earth.
Robert Henri

Ars longa. Vita brevis.
Art is long. Life is short.
Horace

Art is not a thing, it is a way.
Elbert Hubbard

Art is love.
Holman Hunt

Art is created to live and to be seen and felt.
James Kay

Art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Art is man's expression of his joy in labor.
Henry A. Kissinger

Art is a line around your thoughts.
Gustav Klimt

Art is a humanitarian act. Art should be able to effect mankind, to make the world a better place.
Jeff Koons

L – P

Art is a by-product of an act of total attention.
Dorothea Lange

Art is an action against death. It is a denial of death.
Jacques Lipchitz

Art is the child of Nature.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Art is to the community what the dream is to the individual.
Thomas Mann

Art is about mystery.
Marisol

Art is an effort to create, besides the real world, a more human world.
Andre Maurois

Art is not a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that.
Andrew Mercer

Art is what you can get away with.
Marshall McLuhan

Art is a jealous thing; it requires the whole and entire man.
Michelangelo

Art is living stopped for a moment of wonder.
Kenneth G. Mills

Art is not to do with the practical side of making a living. It's to live a fuller human life.
Henry Moore

Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same time, for everybody.
Piet Mondrian

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.
Robert Motherwell

Art is an epiphany in a coffee cup.
Elizabeth Murray

Art is the sex of the imagination.
George Jean Nathan

Art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Art is the proper task of life.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Art is the journey of a free soul.
Alev Oguz

Art is my life and my life is art.
Yoko Ono

Art is always, even at its most repulsive, an impassioned cry of love.
Laurence Overmire

Art is the dominstration that the ordinary is extraordinary.
Amedee Ozenfant

Art is the expression of the immortal part of man.
Ignace Paderewski

Art is a form of catharsis.
Dorothy Parker

Art is a lie which makes us see the truth.
Pablo Picasso

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
Pablo Picasso

Art is a kind of illness.
Giacomo Puccini

R – Z

Art is an indecent exposure of the consciousness.
Herbert Read

Art is not imitation, but illusion
Charles Reade

Art is art. Everything else is everything else.
Ad Reinhardt

Art is not the bread, but the wine of life.
John Paul Richter

Art is contemplation.
Auguste Rodin

Art is what is unnecessary, but necessary only to that artist.
Randy Sanders

Art is a delayed echo.
George Santayana

Art is the right hand of nature. The latter only gave us being, but the former made us men.
Friedrich Schiller

Art is the daughter of freedom.
Friedrich Schiller

Art is the signature of civilizations.
Beverly Sills

Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.
Lincoln Steffens

Art is nature seen in the light of its formal significance.
Leo Stein

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
Twyla Tharp

Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is great matter.
Leo Tolstoy

Art is the soul and spirit of each generation to be passed along to the next and beyond.
Stewart Turcotte

Art is the only means by which one soul can truly touch another.
Curtis Verdun

Art is what's left over after you've defined everything else.
Michael Vitale

Art is not a competitive sport.
Lisa Vollrath

Art is a Verb, not a Noun.
Sylvia White

Art is the thrilling spark that beats death – that's all.
Brett Whiteley

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
Oscar Wilde

Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
Frank Zappa