Developing a Creative Process
The creative process was defined by in the 1920’s as four components: (4)
- Preparation – looking, playing, dabbling.
- Incubation – also called ‘percolating’, the point where the conscious and subconscious are working together to solve a problem or develop an idea.
- Illumination – defined by psychologists as the “Aha Moment” when the subconscious thought becomes conscious realization.
- Implementation - Figuring out the nuts and bolts to make your idea work.
Learning to be more creative:
- Go out and actively look for inspiration.
- Play with paint, visit a museum, pick up a musical instrument, a pen or a new tool.
- Don’t expect results, just see where the play leads you.
- Disrupt your patterns. Try to shelve ‘what you know to be true.’ Ask yourself if you are jumping to a conclusion or following a familiar pattern.
- Let your subconscious go into free-fall, and do not discount ideas that may seem nonsensical or illogical. Remember that creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.
- This is the longest part of the creative process, and many people never get beyond this point…
- “The 3-B’s”: those areas where you are most likely to hatch your idea: in the Bath, in Bed, on the Bus. (5)
- At the point that your creative thought pops into your head, write it down.
- Change your focus. Mull your idea over, twist and turn it, and see what other variations you can come up with. Put it down, and pick it up again with a fresh set of eyes.
- Think through every step of your new idea, to develop your work plan, timeline, schedule, budget. The creative process typically ends with the more technical aspects of implementation.
4. J. Wallace, England 1924. His theory maintained that the subconscious was decisive to the creative process.
5. Explaining Creativity, R. Keith Sawyer, UW psychologist, Oxford Press 2007
The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People are Eccentric, Scientific American, April 2011
Thinking Outside a Less Intact Box: Thalamic Dopamine D2 Receptor Densities are Negatively Related to Psychometric Creativity in Healthy Individuals (covering studies in Stockholm and Bethesda MD), Aldo Rustichini, editor, University of Minnesota, 2010