Thursday, November 21, 2013

Creative Process from My Perspective

"Go through the process" has become a life long personal and family mantra.  When we  don't know what the outcome of a situation is going to be, we resign ourselves to the comfort of knowing - All we can do for now is - Go through the process.
In my experience, the design and development of a new product is a process that always takes longer than I think it will. From the rush of the initial idea to the end product is often a long way.

Its not always possible to foresee  problems, and I often start out optimistic for a quick outcome.

No true creative wants to copy anyone. Even though I want to be original and stretch my mind, there is a need for some research.  Basic skills can be learnt. I don't want to waste time reinventing the wheel, but I also like to have a fresh approach without pre-conceived ideas.  So successful creative endeavors need a little bit of expertise and a little bit of out the box thinking.

Prototyping is an essential and valuable part of the making process for me.  I am often amazed at what comes up in this exercise. The encouraging hints of what's to come and the glaring glitches that raise their head too.

As a result I land up with a pile of process art pieces.  The not quite perfect steps to the end product, significant, sentimental and appealing in their own way.  I usually hang on to them for a while.  But for what? I have to honour them as a vital part of the process and then be ruthless and chuck them out.   

Here are some of the steps I worked through in a recent origami project:

I have learnt to value the process of thinking.  When I hit a design problem, I stop making and deliberately concentrate on thinking through options. Often taking a complete break, and coming back again later brings fresh insight

The more I make something, the better I get at it.  There is always a growth in skill as time goes by.  Sometimes when I see the progress I've made, I relegate early production pieces into the prototype category.  

And so these are my companions on most design process journeys: 

Inspiration, anticipation, frustration, desperation, doubt, solution, testing, practice,  production, repetition, therapy, boredom, completion, satisfaction, pride, joy. A creative roller coaster ride!   
 My creative process is quite slow. 
I hear melodies in my head while I'm washing the dishes and I allow my subconscious to do the work.
Sinéad O'Connor
 The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
  Julia Cameron

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