June 30, 2010

How to picture creativity

Filed under: Creativity — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 9:17 am

After reading a recent article in HOW Magazine based on the upcoming book The Creative Process Illustrated, I was inspired to think about and illustrate my own creative process.

Though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how a great idea forms, my process of getting to there usually takes a similar path:

  1. Start with notepad and pen (I like the Uniball Vision fine point pen)
  2. At the top of the page, write down the date and pertinent project details
  3. Do creative research—both online and offline
  4. In the sidebar, jot down words that come to mind: check thesaurus.com for additional keywords
  5. Sketch possible patterns, icons or motifs
  6. Create color palettes that may be appropriate (in colored pencil or by noting PMS color)
  7. Jot down font ideas or print font samples
  8. Start sketching layout thumbnails (and in my case, it’s literal—I work on a small scale!)
  9. Put stars next to the best ideas: start developing these ideas further on the computer

I try to keep my sketches neat, as I sometimes scan and email them to clients before I jump on the computer. But I try not to let that keep me from pushing myself and expressing all my ideas. Sometimes that so-called “reject” turns out be a winner!

How do you picture your own creativity?

Read a Q&A with Picturing Creativity book authors here.

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  • http://wildedesigns.blogspot.com Beth

    Actually, our processes are fairly similar. I tend to do a lot of thumbnails to get all my thoughts out before I worry about getting on the computer to make any of the designs digital.

  • lidia

    That’s great to hear, Beth! Seems like over the years, people have gotten away from pen & paper, jumping right on the computer (not saying it’s wrong, just doesnt work for me).

    Glad to hear there are other “sketchers” out there 🙂

  • Joan-E

    In a high-tech, digital world, isn’t it nice to get back in touch with a process that speaks to us visually? There’s something particularly rewarding about having a map of our creative thought processes. The computer is where it finally ends up, but that pen & paper approach is still the ideal vehicle to drive us there.

  • lidia

    I agree, Joan-E. I love looking back at old project sketches and ideas. And sometimes those old sketches lead to new ideas as well. Thanks for your feedback!