There is a naturally curiousity that takes over when people find out they are talking to an artist. They want to hear where inspiration comes from. They want the inside scoop on how a project goes from concept to finished product. But, sometimes these same people have conceptions of how art should be created. During one such conversation I had a stranger challenge my creative process. “There is no way a painting is finished in one day!” he said “You are supposed to work on paintings for many days.” My reaction was a wobbly, defensive “That’s not how I work”. The experience showed me just how sacred my process is to me but also that I wasn’t totally conscious of how and why I worked that way. I just knew that’s how I worked.
How we create is as important as what we create. An artist’s process is unique and organic. Have you ever tried to work how you ‘think’ an artist works? You probably just did your own thing, right? I believe that our processes are the secret to our success and fulfillment. How we work creatively is natural, and it can be transferred to other areas of our lives. This brings how we show up in the world into alignment. It can fill our tasks, work, and projects with ease.
Do you know what your creative process looks like? I mean, the nuts and bolts of your process.
Taking a good look at how you work can help you set up the optimal conditions for creation. It was an eye opening experience for me. It was like I gave myself permission to be the artist that I am.
Becoming conscious of your process is as easy as telling a few stories. Choose three successful projects you’ve completed and write a story about each. Start with the moment of ideation, or what comes just before, and write until the project is wrapped up. Be as detailed as you need to be.
Once you’ve written the stories, read them over and broadly identify the different stages of each project. What common threads of action, thoughts, and steps are in each? These commonalities will be the stepping stones of your process.