Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creativity, in brief(s)

I know, I wrote about my creative process before, but I think it was a bit long. This time, I am writing it in my briefs, so that my "creative process, in brief" can really ring true.

Here it is again:

1) INCEPTION-Define the problem

-Brainstorm the problem
-Simplify the problem
-find your special purpose
-write down initial impressions
-allow inspiration to strike

2)INGESTION-Swallow the problem whole

-study it out
-Stare intensely at the problem
-read a bunch of stuff.
-look at a bunch of stuff
-talk to interesting people
-ABI "Always Be Ingesting"
-allow inspiration to strike
-Brainstorm, reject nothing

3)INCUBATION -Let it simmer

-put it off
-Hey, what's that over there?
-take a nap
-wake up
-allow inspiration to strike
-write it down


4)CULTIVATION -Reject bad ideas, make good ideas better

-get finicky
-be merciless
-be critical
-workshop it
-check materials
-solve problems
-check your spelling
-identify potential excuses, realize that you can't apologize for it later and solve the problem NOW.

5)PRESENTATION-Narrow the gap between what you intend to do and what you actually will do

-trust the process
-don't allow for excuses
-assume success but be willing to modify
-do it right the first time.
-allow it to be the jumping off point for the next thing.

I think if you see these key stages to the creative process when you work with people you can identify where you are in the process, and what kind of feedback and input is important. The harsh criticism of the CULTIVATION stage is essential, but unwelcome during the INGESTION phase. The point isn't the rigidity. It's that it gives you a common language to deal with creative issues. To work in a corporate structure and still have the assets you need to do your best creative work.

Additionally you can be working on a project, get all the way to the end and say, "We need to rework this, but we only need to take it back to CULTIVATION not INCEPTION", though sometimes the only way for a Phoenix to be reborn is to burn it down to the ashes.

I realized that my post on the creative process was hastily thrown together and a lot to bite off. It needs some "cultivation" if you will (even if you won't). If anyone has a creative problem that they would like to apply this process to, I'd love to hear how it turns out.

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