The 6 Stages of the Creative Process

List of the 6 Stages of the Creative Process

When I first saw this list, it made me laugh out loud. It's so spot on! So I thought to dig deeper into the creative process and was confronted with an inner dialog, a conflict between the two sides of the brain.

The right brain is the creative side, the side that likes to draw rabbit ears on cats because it can, add fish sauce to chicken dishes because it can, and mix acrylics with oils (a big no-no), yup, because it can. 
 
The right brain is also intuitive, playful, temperamental and immature. Think Pee-wee Herman. Fortunately, the left, logical side (aka "Spock") often intervenes to keep things on an even footing. Here's what goes on during the 6 stages of the creative process.


1. The "This is Awesome" Stage

It's play time. The artistic brain is doing its own thing, in its own space. No boring meetings to attend, no office politics, no traffic commute. Just blissfully banging around in the garage studio, listening to some tunes, breaking into the occasional tequila dance with skinks (lol).
 

 
Spock: Finally, I can starting paint again. The recent cold vortex made it impossible to work in the garage studio. Let's see. Day 3. Making progress.

Pee-wee: Connecting the dots. La la la la. A little more. That's it. La la la la la. Ooh, look at that. So cool.
 

2. The "This is Tricky" Stage

It's smooth sailing in outer space and the layers begin to pile up. Then halfway through, the mood begins to shift.

Spock: The painting is looking flat. I should probably add some contrast. Let's try a little dark area here, something to give the painting some gravitas. 
Pee-wee: Gravitas? Ha ha. Who am I trying to impress? 


3. The "This is Shit" Stage

The painting is in trouble but the solution isn't clear.  Although a form is beginning to take shape, it doesn't look like much. 
 

Pee-wee: Color wheel? Ha ha. The color wheel isn't going to save this painting.
It looks like shit. 
 

 

4. The "I am Shit" Stage

Now there's a bunch of trial and error going on. The Pee-wee side is beginning
to have a meltdown. Danger! Danger!
 

Pee-wee: Shoulda left it alone. Why do I even try? Look at it. It's sh*t. I'm sh*t.
 

 

5. The "This Might Be Ok" Stage

Spock persists, knowing the painting will eventually turn the corner, like it usually does.
 
 

 

6. The "This is Awesome" Phase

Spock:  Now for a little more. There, it's done. 

Pee-wee: OMG. Ha ha! I meant to do that. 

 

Spock: It's fascinating. I almost believe in luck.

So there you have it. The creative process in a nutshell, a tug of war between

the two sides of the creative mind, another epic battle fought and won.
Another painting done.

 
***

Now that the garage studio is no longer an ice box, Spock and Pee-wee have been doing
lots of nattering. Many works in progress in preparation for my upcoming shows.

 

 

 
 
 
Hope to see you out there! Meanwhile, hope you're all having a glorious spring.
 
Art in the Park, Richmond, VA
May 5–6, 2018
Click for event details
 
Artsplosure, Raleigh, NC
May 19–20, 2018
Click for event details
 
Arts in the Middle, Urbanna, VA
June 2–3, 2018

 

To see completed works, click here. More to come!