Beginners Guide to the Creative Process: How to get started when you just want to make stuff!

Following on from my post about getting your creative mojo back, I felt it was natural to follow up with a post on how I go about my creative process. This is how I was taught at art college, with some slight modifications I’ve learnt along the way! This is a very simplified method, with practical steps to help you when you want to create something, but have no idea what to do. Its not designed to create a masterpiece, but to get you started – I just wanted to share a simple creative process that can be used no matter what type of art, craft or creativity you use.  This is as much about trying to get myself back into a creative practice as it is anything else; yes I make jewellery and craft tutorials, but I often find it hard to create something just for me. So grab your sketchbook or even just a scrap of paper and lets getting making stuff!

Idea

You might already have something, a nugget of an idea that you don’t know what to do with. It can be anything from a word, topic, material or object. Don’t have any ideas? Choose your favourite Easy calzone recipe with pizza dough thing, something that interests you, or even just something at random. This may not even be what your finished piece is about, so try not to overthink your choices. Some prompts if you are really stuck: leaf, sound, pencil, water, wool, hands. There is probably going to be a separate post on how to get creative inspiration in the near future. I’m going to use ‘pencil’ as an example, as we probably all have one lying around somewhere!

Being Creative-Beginner Guide to the Creative Process

Brainstorm

Brainstorm around the initial idea and try to look at it in as many different ways as possible: it can be the subject, theme, material, tool or ingredient. Avoid trying to edit things out, or question whether something is good enough at this stage. The aim is to get as many wildly different ideas a possible! Some questions to ask: what does it make you think of? What is the most obvious thing to do ? What is the exact opposite? What is the craziest thing you could do or create with it? What do you associate with it? With ‘pencil’ I came up with the following in my sketchbook –

Beginners Guide to the Creative Process - Brainstorming

Develop

Play around with the ideas that jump out at you or that intrigue you. If nothing stands out, just pick one at random. You want to look at something in as many ways as possible, begin to evolve the original.  Drawing and photography are great places to start.

But this is where you start bringing in different materials and media as well any creative or artistic skills you might already possess. Try not to jump into a ‘finished’ thing, instead enjoy using the processes to test things out. Try to get a bit more experimental; print with it, knit with it, write a story about it, carve it, make a mold of it, cut it up.

Evaluate

Look at what you have created so far. What do you like? What has worked and why? Follow your gut instincts and if something interests you, or really appeals, go with it. Don’t question if it is going to make a “good” piece of finished art. I really liked the circles that were created by using the eraser as a stamp, so decided to develop that. Now you can use whatever medium you want; I considered photographing the area from my sketchbook and working with that, recreating the pattern in Photoshop or creating a block that I could print from. But, I wanted to keep it simple, so I got out my watercolours and a water brush.

Beginners Guide to the Creative Process

I tried not to over think my decisions too much, and just went with what felt right. Once you actually get going, it can become an issue of when to stop, when is something considered finished? Thats probably a whole other blog post!!! I am thinking that I might develop this into an embroidery, but for know, I’m happy with what this little painting!

If you have a go at using my creative process guide, or have any questions feel free to comment below or message me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook! And for even more DIYs and creative inspiration sign up to my monthly email! Happy Making!

Beginners Guide to the Creative Process

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One thought on “Beginners Guide to the Creative Process: How to get started when you just want to make stuff!

  • August 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm
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    Such a great idea and you’ve described the process really well. I will definitely give this a go next time my mojo escapes me. I think I could even do this with my girls, in a simplified way 🙂

    Reply

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