Here are seven steps that will help creativity seekers along on the path to increased skill development and productivity.
Creative process steps for increased creativity and enhanced life experience
Creativity is essential to life, but many of us had that focus programmed out of us by education that put an emphasis on left brained thinking: logic, analysis, objectivity, facts, numbers and letters. Though those are important skills, the right-brain’s intuition, randomness, and synthesis are important too, and should not have been suppressed.
Many of us remember our teachers telling us to quit daydreaming. We were told not to doodle, sketch, or think about anything in class other than what the teacher was talking about. Some of us couldn’t manage that directed focus and were labeled ‘bad students’. Others did better and got the praise.
Years of training managed to turn many of us away from creative thinking. Our public schools were created to build a submissive, unified workforce for the military and for industry. They were not created to teach us to think creatively or independently. We’re products of our civilization, but now that we’re adults, many of us want to burst out of the mold, to experience the creativity we’ve buried deep inside.
Creative Process Step 1 – Believe in Yourself
You, like every other human being, were born to create. You can choose what you want to create, directing your focus and energy, but the power to create is an inborn human gift.
You’re like a ship on the sea. The wind carries you along, but you can turn the rudder, deciding which way to go with the energy you’ve been given.
Do not doubt your ability to be creative.
For those who believe in God, consider this: God is the Creator of the universe. We were made in His image… therefore we too are creative, just as God is.
I believe that God is the most amazing artist in our world, and anything we create is paltry compared to His amazing achievement in creating this beautiful planet, the plants, the oceans, the mountains, and the people and animals.
However lowly our efforts may be in comparison to His, our skills of creativity are gifts from God and to truly fulfill our purpose as human beings, we should develop them and use them often.
Creative Process Step 2 – Practice Your Skills
A talented person is usually a person who believed in his ability enough to practice it a lot. With practice comes improvement in skills. If you want to be creative you must practice being creative. At first your attempts may seem stilted and rough, but the more you practice, the better you’ll become at doing whatever it is you want to do.
Seriously, how many musicians do you know who knew instinctively how to play an instrument in early childhood? Probably – none. They all started somewhere, learning one note at a time, gradually gaining mastery and skill. That’s what you need to do if you’re going to be creative.
5 Keys to Mastery is a documentary I can’t recommend enough for creatives of all types. In this movie you’ll hear from musicians, athletes, actors, a guitar maker, and others as they talk about the steps they took to become masters in the field they excel in.
As I’m writing this in February 2019, the documentary is available free to Amazon Prime subscribers for online streaming. Seriously, go for it. I love this movie and have watched it many times, and I own a copy of the DVD.
Creative Process Step 3 – Generate New Ideas
This step is also called ‘brainstorming’. You’ll need to grab your writer’s notebook or artist’s sketchbook and collect ideas. Put them together, pull them apart, and let them percolate as you decide what your next project will be like.
Ideas are fleeting – do not trust them to memory!
Make a huge collection of ideas. You won’t want to limit yourself to only a few. Have fun with idea generation.
The more ideas you come up with, the easier it will get. Your first ideas may seem hokey, but the more you brainstorm, the better you get at it. Eventually, one of them will reach out and grab your heart.
How to Get Ideas is a source book for inspiration on idea generation. It tells you how to combine ideas, how to take advantage of your failures, and how to re-think your thinking in a creative, courageous way.
I have the audiobook version of this book, and refer to it every now and then to get more insight into creativity. I’ve observed that once the process of creativity is integrated into life, ideas spring forth rapidly. At first I prayed for ideas. Later I realized I had so many ideas, I couldn’t use them all. Trust me, it gets easier to generate ideas for your creative projects.
Brain-stimulating music for life in the creative zone:
Creative Process Step 4 – Design Your Masterpiece
Pre-planning is everything!
You need a map to know where you want to go.
You need a goal to know what you’re aiming for.
Before you start your masterpiece, know exactly what you expect it to become, so you can nurture it into the work of art you’ve chosen to create. It is likely to morph and change a bit as you work on it, but it helps to start with a vision for what you’re trying to do.
If you don’t get too impatient to dive right in, you may find that planning is one of the most stimulating and enjoyable parts of creative expression.
Creative Process Step 5 – Implement Your Design
Eventually idea generation and design have to take a backseat to the actual creation process you’ll go through to bring your idea to fruition. You will settle into a routine of doing whatever needs to be done to make it happen.
To get through the implementation of your design you’ll need to focus your determination and motivation, organize your time, your thoughts, your materials and equipment, become the dynamic impetus that brings dreams into reality, and bring forth your creative masterpiece as only you can.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is an honest, straight-forward book about the motivation to create, whether it is art, writing, or something else. If you’re feeling at all stalled in your creative process, this is a good book to read because it will make you think about what you owe to your projects.
Creative Process Step 6 – Analyze and Refine
For most of us, perfection doesn’t come instantaneously. Many disciplines require revision. Writers are familiar with repeated edits; artists need to carefully place their finishing touches.
If something doesn’t work perfectly, re-vision it and keep trying. You may not reach perfection but you can make your masterpiece become exactly what it was meant to be. Stand back, re-focus, re-think, and set out again with fresh perspective and renewed purpose.
Creative Process Step 7 – Launch and Move On
When you’re done – you’ll know it. The time has come to send your baby out into the world. Toast it, have a party, and move on. You’ve completed the creative cycle giving full recognition to the creative spirit within you.
What better way to celebrate the coming-of-age of your idea, than to start over again at the beginning?
Feed Your Brain: Explore the Work of Others in Your Area of Creativity
The area of my creativity I’m trying to develop is artwork – especially folk art and mixed media, so this year I’ve decided to read an art book every month. I’m doing this for the inspiration I derive from observing the work of other artists.
Here are three books I’ve already read in 2019. I’m using large book images from Amazon because they are a feast for the eyes! You can click on the book covers to find out more about them at Amazon. Of course, these are affiliate links, so if you buy something I’ll get a small referral fee but it won’t cost you anything extra.
The Art of Whimsical Lettering, by Joanne Sharpe
What a cheerful and colorful lettering book! I enjoyed taking a few online classes from the author of this book.
Folk Art Fusion, by Heather Galler
I’m letting the folk art techniques of Heather Galler into my art work this year. I love the dots, the cats, and the flowers!
Journal Bliss, by Violette
Violette’s mixed media primer was published way back in 2009, and I consider her a source for other mixed media artists. I hope to integrate some of her ideas into my artwork. The illustrations in this book are just plain cheerful. Good for the soul.
More art books I have on my reading list for 2019:
Image credits: The dandelion photos came from Pixabay.com; I’ve added quotes and enhanced them in Paint Shop Pro, my graphics program of choice. . . . . the book covers come from Amazon.com. The videos are from YouTube.
The first few paragraphs of this article were originally published way back on February 11, 2008. I’ve combined them with my article, Creative Process – Seven Steps For Becoming More Creative, which was originally published at Hubpages on November 03, 2010. (I unpublished it there recently, so I could use it here.) I added to the articles, updated, edited, and republished on February 22, 2019.