The Creative Process

I am not one for a step by step breakdown of anything. Manuals for furniture assembly…I think not. I would rather find out for myself every available option and step. I’ve realized to be a good designer, it’s takes a lot more than that. It takes an entire creative process.

Being creative is something that’s magical and dangerous all at the same time. You’re not just creative with work; you’re creative with absolutely everything! By noon each day, creative people will have thought of thousands of ideas for a home remodel, creative concept or a new logo for a company up the road, a fun DIY project or maybe a few great color combos for who knows what. So how do you channel it all? By practicing the art of taking time to think and creating your own process for each project.

Who has the time to sit somewhere and just think about things? Well, that’s what it takes! In today’s world, you are constantly bombarded with so many brands, marketing tactics and noise. To be creative, you must create space.

No rush. No noise. No nothing. Just me and my thoughts. I encourage you to do the same! What works for you?

My personal creative process:

Brainstorm like you’re in 3rd grade again.

Remember in elementary school when the teacher would set aside time to think and brainstorm? Maybe you wrote out three points you want to hit in an essay or took some notes about ideas you had in mind for a craft. I usually have about 5 solid ideas for any project that I can’t decide between. I write each one down or save some pictures for inspiration. Think it. Picture it.

Get lost.

It’s a noisy world! Social media, texting, constant accessibility just by having a phone…it’s a lot. How can you be creative in all of that? You can’t…or at least I can’t. Set your phone down, exercise, listen to music, sit on the porch, daydream, daydream a little more, take a bath…whatever you have to do to create that space. You have to give your mind a chance to run wild.

Find your inspiration.

It’s so easy to be inspired. From hearing someone’s story to going somewhere brand new to a day on the lake. I think there is something so good about everything; you just have to have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it. Find what inspires you and go to that place whether it’s a location, a person or just a state of mind.

Step away.

Ah, the hardest part, right? It’s easy to get caught up in a project. You start working on it after lunch and next thing you know, all of your thoughts are about this amazing design you have it mind until midnight. Stop it! Stop it now! Put it aside. I can’t tell you how many times I have worked on something for hours and hours only to change my mind in the morning when I have come to my senses.

From the customer’s standpoint, what does it look like?

Every designer is partial. Sometimes, I feel like it’s impossible to judge my own work. Try thinking about your design or idea from the customer’s standpoint. What emotion are you trying to convey? Does the content read well and is it relatable or based on a personal experience that needs context? If you saw this graphic randomly, would it make sense? Did you cover all of the bases? Did you take into consideration all of the info the client gave you? By separating yourself from your work, you can fine-tune it. Change it for the intended customer? Not exactly. More like making sure the design is complete and entails everything you want to show.

What tips do you have? What is your creative process?