5 Ways to Find Your Creative Process

kelseyads / March 16, 2012


While designers, illustrators, and fine artists are all creative, each have a very different creative process. Most of us only pay attention to the end result while the process is often ignored or neglected. Glenn Griffin and Deborah Morison examine these possibilities and trends in their book “The Creative Process Illustrated: How Advertising’s Big Ideas Are Born ” as they seek to find how looking at the creative processes of dozens of creative professionals – in hopes that it might help you to find your creative process.

In preparation for creating the book, Griffin and Morison sent out requests for creatives of all facets to “illustrate” their creative process, three things became very apparent. For one, they found that fear, frustration, and the thought of rejection are often common overlapping themes. The duo also discovered that processes are very personal. While similarities in processes are sometimes present, each individual interprets their own steps differently. Griffin and Morison quickly realized how much process matters.

Griffin lectures how we are all metacognitive beings which makes us great at being creatives. He states there are three types of metacognitive thinking abilities that we all posses. Personal knowledge (your belief about your creative ability), task knowledge (assessment of resources) and strategic knowledge (a combination of the two previous types of knowledge types) which we all use to find solutions to individual problems.

The two developed a short list of ideas to help you find your creative process. The following list reiterates just a few tips suggested to help you find your creative process:

1. Your process is personal. Identify markers of your process (ie. a favorite pen or a particular way you like to sketch). 

2. Find metaphors that clarify your process. It’s a great start and help you tell your story. One submitter stated to “take an idea apart and put it back together. What’s in between is what is interesting.” 

3. Create a timeline of how you look at things through the day. Use this to help you identify when you are most creative. You should be able to recognize your habits as key pieces to finding when/where your best ideas come.

4. Be honest with yourself about your process. Transparency separates the real and ideal. To help achieve a honest opinion of your process you could take a tutorial approach.

5. Take full account of your career path and think about the most significant lessons you’ve learned (what was the process behind the biggest problem you have solved). This will help you to find the “happy place” for you, the client, and the agency.

Whatever your process, you need to realize that you need one! Practice and refine your process as you go, and never stop creating!

How do you stay creative?



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