Creativity is a muscle (not literally). You have to work it, keep it limber and strong, and never take for granted it will be there for you if you haven’t been there for it in the meantime. (Maybe it’s also a bit like a friend… or your mother. When you’re done reading this, maybe go call your mother and say something nice.)
PopCap is a wonderland teeming with artists of all stripes. And any artist can tell you that the only way to stay strong is to never stop playing. Writers write, musicians jam, artists sketch. Often you have an assignment, but in between, you can’t just wait for inspiration to hit… so you play little games to jump-start the artistic impulse. One thing we do around here is called the Re-Masterpiece Project.
Once a year, PopCap employees rescue forgotten art from thrift stores. We each choose a piece at random and take it home, then do what we can to add to it, improve on it (perhaps), put a new spin on it at the very least. Check out some of the amazing results, some of which are by professional artists, some by programmers, testers, support techs… proof we’ve all got a little artist in us.
Many PopCap artists are famous for their adorable animals, and they really brought the cute in this exercise:
Another very popular theme in Re-Masterpiecing is the insertion of monsters, friendly or ominous:
Now go play! Write a haiku, practice your clarinet, doodle in the margin of your notebook… and call your mother.