Everyone has different ideas on what exactly the creative process is. Some say that it’s in four stages. Others say eight. We’ll get to that in a moment.
I missed the first half of my creativity class today after an unfortunate choice I had to make between attending a career fair and getting to class on time. You would think they wouldn’t schedule student career fairs during class hours…but in any case, I failed entirely because I ended up choosing a slim chance at summer internships over getting to creativity class on time.
Why is this such a big deal? Because I missed an hour I can’t get anywhere else. I missed a chance to learn more about my peers in the class, but specifically today, their creative processes. In other classes, you can make up work or get the notes. In my creativity class, it’s impossible to recreate the magic that happens on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1pm and 3pm.
In any case, that’ll be the last hour, or minute or second, that I miss that class. Because I’ve realized that every second can hold a precious realization or step forward for my connection with my classmates and the connection with myself. One of those realizations I wish I’d had was my creative process. What is it like? What are others’ creative processes like?
A very crude illustration:
That was done on Illustrator. My handwriting is not that bad and my lightbulbs are usually only a little bit bad.
It’s possibly the Californian in me, but I envision a lot of things using a tangled highway as the visual metaphor. There aren’t really stages of a journey, just a journey. Basically my creative process is a series of roads. It starts with a spark– an idea or problem– and then I get going. Maybe I take a way that fizzles out, so I have to turn around and start from the beginning. Maybe I see signs along the way that help. Or maybe I see things along the way that distract me. Maybe there are multiple ways to get to the same place. Sometimes I know I’m on the right track, but then I get lost along the way by not trusting myself and listening to the wrong directions. Maybe I get good advice or warnings, but I’m stubborn and keep going without my headlights on.
Sometimes I crash. And that’s ok.
But I always get there.