The creative process requires the use of both sides of our brain. The free thinking right brain controls our ideas, inspiration, and most of the production process, while our analytical left brain is in charge of evaluating, reworking, and sharing. Creating a piece of visual art, writing a story, writing a piece of music or performing all require a creative process to realise a vision.
As visual artists we are faced with a problem at the START…a blank canvas… we find a solution through a process and in the END we produce our artwork.
We all approach creating differently. However, most of us will flow through some form of a process.
1. Inspiration – START
To make the most of what inspires us, we need to make an effort to look for it. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, we put ourselves in a position to be inspired.
2. Idea –
For some, an idea comes almost immediately after inspiration, making the distinction between the two a little more difficult to detect. For others, the idea solidifies gradually over time, after the initial inspiration. Unlike the source of inspiration, the idea is born internally. It is unique to the artist that conceives it.
3. Research –
This step can also be considered as planning. We may sketch out our idea or research methods and/or media to communicate our newly formed idea. Sometimes, the idea may change at this stage, taking on a new life or direction.
4. Production –
The artwork is created in the production stage. The inspiration has led to an idea, the planning and research have been completed, and the art is now being produced. The idea is now transforming into a visual communication that is reflective of the artist that creates it.
5. Critique –
The process now shifts from a creative endeavour to an analytical one. The artist must now remove themselves from the work, recognise the flaws, and make the necessary changes.
It is my opinion that critique should not be viewed as an evaluation of the finished work, but rather a “check” on progress towards a goal. For some artists, it is difficult to view their art as a “product”. But this is essential for the art to reach its full potential. Critique is decidedly a left-brained part of the process and is approached with an analytical, open mind.
6. Rework –
With flaws exposed and recognised, the art is revisited. Changes are made based on the judgments made in the critique.
7. Evaluation –
It is not until all changes have been made to the art that the evaluation of the success or failure of the work is decided. Strengths of the work are noted, so that they may be incorporated in future works. Weaknesses should also be recognised, so that they may be avoided in future works. It is important to remember that it is the work that is evaluated, not the artist.
8. Presentation – END
Art is meant to be shared.
Want to read more, then check out this article A Look at the Creative Process and what makes an Artist tick.