Monday, 5 April 2010

The creative Process

This article was first published in my newsletter "Notes From My French Easel" – March 2010. Follow the link to receive this free monthly newsletter.

In the expression “creative process” the important word is “process”, because the best way to get creative is to practice you art regularly. You may not realise in the moment of creation that you are being creative and it is only after, when you reflect on a particular work, that you see its creativity. You don’t want to have to think “Am I creative?” in the fire of the action. You just want get started and be “in the flow” and keep going as long as you can.

Colorful Pencils by Petr Kratochvil

The best way to increase your chances of hitting the creative spark is to ensure a regular output. There is always the possibility to edit out your work and keep your experiments to yourself. As Curt Cloninger explains in his book “Hot-wiring Your Creative Process: Strategies for Print and New Media Designers”: “Intentionally following a clearly defined (or even loosely) defined process may be the single most useful practice in any designer’s arsenal.” This statement remains true when you replace the word “designer” by “artist”.

Twyla Tharp, the author of the book “The Creative habit”, also insists on the importance of the process: “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That’s in a nutshell.” She also stresses the power of rituals to get you started: “It’s vital to establish some rituals – automatic but decisive pattern of behavior – at the beginning of the creative process, when you are the most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving-up or going the wrong way.”

Related resources

Hot-Wiring Your Creative Process: Strategies for Print and New Media Designers

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

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1 comment:

beth vendryes williams said...

I so agree with your insistence on practicing regularly in order to grow in your art. I have found that to be the largest influence on the development of my work. I also am a fan of Twyla Tharp and her book the "Creative Habit." The concept would be that it is important to get into the habit of working regularly so that the real effort and energy can be put towards the work. Setting aside the time is not the issue any longer. The process of working is.Thanks for writing about essential issues in creativity in a simple and clarifying manner!