With all of the ups and downs that we go through in the studio, it may be helpful to know that the creative process involves stages that are fairly predictable and universal--some of which are challenging. Although these stages or steps are usually described as taking place as a linear progression --from initial idea to finished work--most of us find our own process to be more complex. Today we’ll discuss these creative stages as a reminder of what we all go through as artists, while at the same time acknowledging that few things can be described neatly and simply when it comes to creativity.
The stages of the creative process are often listed as preparation or inspiration, incubation, gaining insights, questioning/testing, and finally, the actualy production of the art. Few artists follow these in order, or as isolated steps. But each stage or phase does enter our ongoing working process in some way and it is interesting to recognize these and to know that we all experience these in common.
It can also be reassuring to know when we are blocked or frustrated in our work that some stages tend to take time to work through. During the incubation phase for example, the way forward is not be clear, even though under the surface you continue to work out an answer. The questioning aspect of creative process can also be frustrating, as doubts and challenges come and go throughout the working day. Yet both of these phases are essential, and interrelated with the other phases of creativity.
It seems nearly impossible to explain the complexities of the creative process in a way that would account for everyone's reality. While there is value in understanding these basic phases, taking them too literally or as rules to follow is overly simplified.
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