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How to be Creative?

Throughout my career as an artist, many people have asked me: How do I come up with creative ideas? I thought it would be fun to answer this question in a blog. The short answer to that is... I have no idea. The long answer is that I go through a series of steps that I repeat over and over again until I finally get it right. Here, not necessarily in any particular order, are those steps.


1. Brain Dump.

I grab my pencil and notebook and I start sketching, doodling, writing, anything and everything that comes to mind. Wether its related to the project or not, it goes down into notebook. I usually end up with some very weird doodles that only I can decipher. This helps get the ideas flowing and helps me start thinking of what techniques and styles to apply when fleshing out a concept.


2. Research.

I start looking into what I can related to the project. For example, if I am designing a logo for a small business, I ask clients questions about their background as well as scoping out their competition to assure their branding will be a notch above the rest. If an event is being held in a different country, I start looking into the culture, design trends, and symbolism native of that country. The more informed I am, the more I can come up with high quality ideas. I also do a great deal of research into what is going on in the design and art world for inspiration, as well as learning new tricks to keep my designs fresh.


3. More Sketching.

Once I have more concrete ideas formed, I start sketching. This is different from the brain dump session, as when I am on this step, I am sketching for very concrete concepts. Often, I might start drawing something one way, and end up with a completely different concept than the one I saw in my mind. Other times I sketch up multiple versions of the same concepts, each one only slightly different than the last. With a great variety of sketches, it is easier to see what works and what doesn't.


4. Fleshing it Out.

This is the fun step! Everything from the doodles to the research comes together in this step. This is where I employ everything I've learned as an artist and graphic designer in bringing a concept to life. I try new things, I use different colors, new typefaces and treatments. This is where everything comes together and we can start to see a finished product.


5. Ask for Input.

An artist should always welcome critique. I love sharing my designs and ideas with colleagues and clients. Outside perspective is very important. I enjoy engaging my clients in creating the designs so that we can create something amazing together. I am open to ideas and suggestions to ensure that I am creating quality art and design.


⭑. I get lucky.

This is my favorite step because whenever this step happens, it means I'm done. Sometimes creativity hits like a bolt of lightning. The stars align at the precise moment an angel gets his wings and a child finds a four leaf clover. There's no explanation for this one. I love it. The client loves it. The intended audience loves it. All is right with the world.


So, thats my creative process. I repeat these steps as many times as necessary. Sometimes in one order, sometimes in reverse. What's your creative process? Any tips you'd like to share?

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