Tag Archives: creativity

The Creative Process in 4 Understandable (but not necessarily easy) Steps

Creative Process Schematic
Click to download

The creative process can be broken down and explained like any other process – from how to produce a slide presentation to fabricating steel thing-a-mummies*. Once you understand the process, you can use it to produce results.

Start

The process starts with a question, problem or challenge. Sometimes it’s a project with a business purpose like an e book or white paper. Other times, it’s in response to a need, either in the market or inside the company, like a non-boring informational video or an instructional course.

Investigation

The investigation phase is about research and gathering information. During this phase, you collect background material, begin to form project goals, make notes and sketches and other ways of recording ideas. Classic brainstorming is often used to illustrate this phase, but that’s only one small part of the process and is insufficient as preparation

Incubation

This is the black box of creativity. You’re not actively searching for a solution, just mulling everything over. The basic ideas and information are there but they need time to form and mature. Because this phase involves both the conscious and subconscious minds, you may not be fully aware of the process.  This is the part of the creative process that is most easily disrupted with distractions, hustle and hurry.

Illumination

The classic Aha! moment. An idea has matured to the point of being consciously grasped and often springs up as a surprise epiphany.  These ideas frequently come at times when your mind is diverted but not wholly absorbed – driving, in the shower, housekeeping, cutting the grass and similar activities. The biggest challenge is capturing the idea immediately before it dissolves, so write it down!

Implementation

The shiny new idea is examined and construction begins. Evaluation is also part of this stage in that you begin to consider the idea for feasibility and it’s often adapted and changed. Then, work begins with writing, drawing, filming, etc.

Caution: Don’t kill good ideas before their time by prematurely examining them. It takes several perfectly good ideas to arrive at one that will be taken to fruition.

Many times you’ll try multiple avenues and even different ideas before you find the one that will lead to the end point you have in mind. These starts and re-starts cycle back through the prior steps in tighter circles as you rework and hone your ideas. This is the most labor intensive phase of the process as well as the most visible to observers.

End

Finally, after first drafts and edits and perhaps even a total do-over, you have your finished project. It almost never looks like the idea you envisioned but it is a fully formed creative product that has never existed before. Time to celebrate!

We all use the creative process in different areas of our lives – from hobbies to home décor. This is a simplified version, but it gives some clarity. Take it a step further into business and get results you’ve only dreamed of that will bring you the business you really want.

If you’ve got a project you’d like to make happen but don’t know how to start, drop me a note and let’s talk about it.

*The Tin Man’s undead cousins.

Regency Fashion Plates and Old Paper – Digitally!

Regency Fashion Collage 5 x 7 Print 2 MU Regency Fashion Collage 5 x 7 Print 1 MURegency Fashion Collage 5 x 7 Print 3 MU

I’ve been making art digitally lately and have (finally) settled into what I like to think of as a “style.” Making art digitally is art like any other – the same principles of design, color and composition apply. But, so does the learning curve for the materials!

Not so long ago, my response to using Photoshop was something along the lines of “No, I don’t work digitally,” and I knew almost nothing about that particular art supply. Well, curiosity finally got the better of me and I tip-toed in with Photoshop Elements. If you’re not up on the digital world, PE is a simper version of Adobe’s Photoshop with some of the functions semi-automated and others either hidden or stripped out. It’s aimed at the hobbyist and photo-editing market and is a great product in its own right.

After making some pretty bad art with this new fangled supply – because, you know you have to make bad, truly atrocious, things before you can make good work – I got the hang of it and saw how I could expand the reach of my creativity in ways that physical art can’t do. It didn’t take long to hone my skills to be ready to move up to the full Photoshop CS6 to gain access to the full feature set. It’s a lot like wanting to move up to the BIG box of crayons!

Corner DetailFor now, I find myself drawn to digitally creating, of all things, paper. Specifically, old paper edges. I love the texture and complexity in making a digital piece of paper appear worn and old. I’ve compared my digital versions with actual old paper and the funny thing is that they evoke old paper without being identical to it. My versions are often more dramatic or exaggerated.

Combining these raggedy old papers with vintage images seemed like the logical next step. Since I have a fondness for the Regency through Victorian periods, these three Regency ladies are the result. They’re available as print-yourself downloads on Etsy or cards and prints at RedBubble.

I’m still exploring the possibilities of my new art supply so who knows what’s next. In the physical art world, I’m working on a watercolor painting video lesson – look for more on that soon!

So, what’s on your work table? I’d love to hear about you’re doing – digital, paint, crayons, whatever – so drop me a note!

Raw Art – Come Journaling Along

Administrivia!

If you’re reading this in an email, thank you! As I’ve been sorting through my creative selves, it’s become obvious that my art and pattern design needs its own separate home here at MonetteSattefield.com. If you’re subscribed to receive email notices of posts about art and the creative life, that’s exactly what you’ll get on the same semi infrequent basis as always.

For those of you who signed up for business writing, that’s now over at Shiny Designs.com (with an all new eye-popping design with a pink rabbit) so please head on over there and sign up. I hope you’ll stay with me here too because it all comes from the same creative well.

Create for Yourself

How long has it been since you made art just for yourself? For some of us, the answer is too long. My friend from Wholly Piecemeal mentioned this book: Raw Art Journaling. Continue reading Raw Art – Come Journaling Along