Whether it’s 3am or 3pm, we’ve probably all spent time, slouching on the couch or lying-in bed, guzzling takeaway food like it’s our last meal and streaming a series for the third time. But embracing the need to do (and achieve) absolutely nothing, now has a name for it: Goblin Mode.
Goblin Mode feels unmotivated and uninspired, its wearing threadbare clothes, eating shredded cheese, or drinking soft drink straight from the bottle and laying around like a goblin in the comfort of your own home.
Although the origin of ‘Goblin Mode’ is a bit of a mystery itself, it’s believed to be the result of the COVID pandemic and lengthy lockdowns. When leaving the house wasn’t optional and we couldn’t care less about our appearance.
So, whether you’re feeling a little motivated to do something creative, searching for some inspiration or just scrolling through this at 3am, here are 10 art activities to do in goblin mode and hopefully a helping hand to pull you out of the slump.
1. Colouring in
Get reacquainted with your inner child, colour outside the lines, colour the entire picture using one colour, rip it up when you’ve finished, however you tackle this art activity is totally up to you. Colouring in has been found to improve stress and anxiety, so if those feels are getting you down, grab some pencils and try colouring in.
2. Room life drawing
Flex your creative muscles. Grab a pencil and some paper or reach for your device if you’re digital, then draw your room in all its goblin glory. Or if this activity is a bit too much to bear, focus on an object like your bed, a desk, table lamp or closet and draw what you can see. Get messy, get creative and draw something just for yourself.
3. Using music for motivation
Completely stuck? Pop on some music and draw or paint what comes to mind. If that’s still a hard task, find a film soundtrack from a movie you’ve never seen, throw on music from another country or finally get around to searching for that new artist or band you’ve been meaning to check out. Then put pen to paper or paint brush to paint and see what you come up with.
4. Drawing with non-dominant hand
It’ll feel a little weird at first but next time you’re stuck for something creative to do, try drawing or painting with your non dominant hand. Give it a go and see what weird and wacky doodles and designs you come up with just by using your non dominant hand, so lefties try your right hand and for right handers, try left.
5. Continuous line drawings
If a fear of failure is keeping you stuck in goblin mode, try a continuous line drawing. You don’t need much to get started, just paper and a pen or marker. The whole idea of a continuous line drawing is to not let your pen come off the page, so it’s a great art activity for beginners. Not too sure where to start? We’ve got two handy step by step lessons, create this female portrait drawing or a line landscape drawing and try it for yourself.
6. Make a paper plane
For the times that you feel super sluggish, grab whatever paper you have nearby and fold it into a paper plane. Think takeaway receipts, catalogues from the rubbish, scrap paper from the printer, anything goes. Fold the paper up into a plane and then have the pleasure of launching it from a high place. This activity is great if you reach peak goblin mode, because you can also spend the rest of the day walking around the plane that’s landed on the floor, instead of picking it up.
7. Ideas box
This art activity helps turn the unmotivated and uninspired on its head. Grab an old newspaper, catalogue, magazine, drawings or just use your junk mail and cut out random images and phrases. Set a timer and cut random things out in under three minutes (this way you’re keeping things a bit haphazard). Keep these cuttings handy like in a box or just a spare plastic container and use them as an ideas box. Whether it’s a written prompt or image, pull out one of these ideas when you’re feeling creative.
This art activity is great for doing in front of the TV, especially if you’ve drained your phone battery and looking for something mindless to do while waiting for it to recharge. Scribbling is not only fun, but it’s also a drawing technique so you’re actually being productive despite feeling unproductive. If you’re looking for some inspo beforehand, check out this scribbling technique.
Assemblage is a fancy term for three-dimensional objects that are grouped together to make a sculpture or a new artwork. These objects can be created by an artist or be found objects that are collected and re-arranged to create something totally new.
See what you’ve got lying around and look at what you could create. Stacking empty pizza boxes, milk cartons that still haven’t made their way to the recycling bin yet, or shoeboxes are usually good places to start.
Or check out artists like Picasso, Joseph Cornell and Dada artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp who made assemblage popular in 1910’s.
10. Lazy lettering
Whether you try hand lettering sitting on the floor of your room, in bed, in front of the TV or somewhere in the middle of your kitchen, you don’t need a lot for hand lettering. Grab some coloured markers or gel pens (you’ll need two bright colours and/or a thick and thin pen for this), then hold both the pens in the same hand and write a word. It works best to have your darker colour on the bottom (this works as a shadow) and the lighter on top. Then your word will look like it has a shadow to it, just by writing with two pens. It’s easy and it looks pretty cool too!