Being Creative: Stages of the Creative Process

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being creative stages of the creative process

The Art of Being Creative

We often think that being creative is something we either have inside us, or we don’t. But this is far from the truth. Being creative is about taking risks. It’s about trying, failing, and doing it over again. Creativity is about creating a connection with your experiences and using them to create new things. It can also spark after channeling your inner child, brainstorming while showering, and even after doodling over sticky notes. Being creative is about giving yourself a chance to come up with something. And no, you don’t have to be an extroverted person in order to be creative. Creativity can also happen to the introverts, the dreamers, and the conservative.

being creative with what you have
Artist Edgar Artis creates dresses with things he has on hand. His creativity is impressive!

What is creativity? Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.


The Spark of an Idea

The spark of an idea comes to us in flash. It calls out to us. It’s an idea that wants life! It’s up to us whether we want to act on that idea, or not. Regardless, this idea is going to continue wandering until someone acts on it. It’s like this one time that you come up with something and you’re just making jokes about how it could be a great invention in the ‘future’. The next thing you know, you see that exact idea already on TV because someone else acted upon it without even blinking! Suddenly, you regret letting go of the idea that once came to visit you.

But if you grasp on it, and act on it, it’s like the big-bang happening in your head! And then you realize that being creative is mostly about us–about having the courage to do things out of our comfort zone. The art of creativity is filled with mysteries and great ideas, but it’s also an amazing journey of self-discovery.

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The 4 Stages of the Creative Process

In the book titled The Art of Thought (1926) by Graham Wallas, he walks us through his theory of the 4 stages of the creative process. These are:

being creative and the four stages of creativity
  1. Preparation. The process of consciously collecting information and focusing on the opportunity of the idea presented.
  2. Incubation. An unconscious process. Meaning, that after giving the idea some thought, we now ‘sleep on it’. This is when the brain begins to create the connections needed to formulate the ideas. It’s like a subconscious way of fantasizing about your idea.
  3. Illumination. This is the ‘aha!’ moment! It’s like an event happening. A gut feeling. Illumination is the process of realization.
  4. Verification. This is when the ideas are put to the test. You can test your ideas with yourself, or with others.
being creative examples of Edgar Artis dresses
Artist Edgar Artiscreates a visual dress using the city of Barcelona as his background.

Channeling your Creativity

After getting familiar with the stages of the creative process, I’m pretty sure you feel ready to act on that idea that’s been going around in your head for quite some time. After all, thinking out of the box is what really gets us to what we want. To do so, here are some ways to get you started in channeling your own creativity.

Yanitza Ninett
Lover of arts, nature, good vibes, and Indie music. When I'm not hiking or soaking up the sun on my favorite beach, you can find me binging my favorite show–The Vampire Diaries.
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