What my creative process really looks like

What my creative process really looks like

I think it’s from years of being at school, then at work, where I equated sitting still, at my desk, with creativity (that, and those two institutions pride themselves on sitting still and facing the front).

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I’ve since learned that the creative process isn’t a linear one and it involves a lot of zig-zagging. First an idea springs to life, then the wrestle begins to get the idea from a wisp to a fully-realised, tangible thing.

Sitting still and facing the front doesn’t seem to work when it comes to this wrestle, and I’ve noticed my creative process goes more like this…

I have a great idea.

Get a note book, start sketching.

Get online, start researching.

Turn to the person next to me, start talking.

Overwhelm at the bigness of the idea kicks in.

Immediately be filled with a deep desire to file paperwork, get coffee, get lunch, update print drivers, eat chocolate.

Do one to all of those things.
Feel the idea is coming back to life.

Back to sketching.

Possibly get on a roll and get some work done.

Then out of nowhere, flick to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Daily Mail.

Get annoyed at being so easily distracted (after reading what happened to the people in Made in Chelsea).

Back to work, possibly get on another roll.
Suddenly spring up for a cup of tea.

Stare out the window daydreaming while the kettle boils.
Struck back into life when a solution to the new idea hits.

Straight back to my desk, start working.
And on and on the maelstrom goes, until I’ve wrestled out the idea and brought it to fruition.

For years, I used to beat myself up about this and think about how much more I could do if I just sat down and did the work. Straight up no breaks, no Insta, no tea. But now I’m thinking this is all a part of my creative process – I’m a jack-in-the-box, up and down like a bride’s nightie kind of creator and I’m ok with that.

Renée Ballard