By the very fact that we own a business where we make our income when we make stuff, we can assume that we are creative creatures. It is part of our basic nature.
Understanding and embracing the creative process is key to your success!
Why? Because in the creative process, you will (and should) doubt the validity of what you are creating! There are six main phases in the creative process. Successful creators work through all six phases and end up with a product or piece of work of which they will be proud, and that pride is legitimate.
6 Phases of the Creative Process
- This is AWESOME… This is the idea generation phase, where an idea comes to you, and you decide to act upon it.
- This is TRICKY… Here is where you begin the process to create “it,” and realize that things are not quite as simple as you originally anticipated…
- This is GARBAGE… Here is the nearly hardest phase for many creative people. It is where the people that have a limited belief in their abilities often run out of steam and give up, going back to what they know instead of pushing forward with something new or different.
- I AM GARBAGE… Here is THE hardest phase. It is at this point that you as the creator feel the most vulnerable. You question all of your thinking. You doubt that you have ever had a good idea. You find yourself asking, “Who am I kidding?” or saying things like, “No one will want this, much less pay for it…” It is right here, in this uncomfortable phase, which lasts for much longer than a moment, that you are either IN or OUT of the process or the project.
- This might be OK… Having made it through phase 4, you work the project and work it and work it… And things begin to come together, so much so that for the first time, you see a glimpse of the manifestation of idea that started you on this project in the first place – it is finally becoming real, tangible, more than just a concept.
- This IS AWESOME! Yep, at the end of the 6 phases, you are right back where you started, but you have the outcome of your idea in your hands. You have something to show for your efforts and for the journey you took through the creative process.
The next time you have an idea for a new design, a new way to try something, a new product or anything NEW, know and accept that during the process of exploring your idea, you will question the idea and you will question yourself.
Know that the creative process works and that following it willingly is key to making sure that the best ideas are the ones that are followed through to completion. Because we do go through these phases, like it or not, every time you get that “Hey, what if I tried this…” feeling. We ditch a lot of ideas that should never see the light of day, and that is OK!
By churning through all of the ideas, we discover and act upon the ones that turn into something – your best selling design, a new way to hoop or stabilize something, a new design placement or some other idea that will turn your business or even the entire industry on it’s ear!
One more thing – we creative people are usually our own worst and nastiest critics! If the people around you are also criticizing your ideas, that makes it even more challenging to make it through the creative process successfully. Find at least one person that steadfastly believes in you and your unique creative approach to your business and your life.
Ignore the “Debbie Downers,” as they are probably not creative people in general. They often are not risk takers, and they do not understand the creative process. Their input probably has little or nothing to do with your process and will not help you.
That being said, pay attention to the “Debbie Downers” that give you constructive input with the intent to help you evolve your idea into the final outcome. Sometimes they see it differently and can point out something that was not catching your attention. These folks are more “What if Wendy” than Debbie Downer, and they can be very helpful to your creative process!