Here are some great tips, some serious, some silly (but no less useful) about how to free your imagination. They were published on The Painter's Keys, the site of the painters Robert Genn and his daughter Sara:
Books, magazines, media give the "mix and match" advantage.
If you are invited to tell lies, save them for paintings.
Work in places such as the gondolas of hot-air balloons.
Don't always try to get it right. Try to get it wrong.
Fall gently in love with the world of your imagination.
Listen to music. It's abstract. Anything can happen.
Practice "syntagma"--things that suggest other things.
Watch children at play: acting, watching, morphing.
Take off your clothes and roll around in the snow.
Pause often and fire up the "what could be" mode.
Consider doing one or two works with your foot.
Understand the terms "Metaphor" and "Simile."
Never underestimate the value of alcohol.
Use your funny bone--incongruity rules.
Try to learn something new every day.
Don't keep doing the same old stuff.
Don't take yourself too seriously.
Don't worry, be silly.