Tuesday, 8 November 2011

creative mojo[ness]

egg + twig

I found this great TED talk today with painter Kimberly Brooks talking about an experiment she did to uncover her creative process. She talks about it boiling down to 8 stages:

1. vision
2. hope
3. diving in
4. excitement | 5. doubt | 6. clarity
7. obsession
8. resolution

later she added 9. exhibitionism
and a pre-stage: silence.

For her daydreaming is a critical part of how she gets to the 'vision' and 'hope' stages. Many artists talk about this dreamy first step in their creative process where to an outsider, it looks like nothing is going on. The trick is to know how to work through the daydreaming so that something eventually emerges and you start to 'dive in'.

Kimberly also talks about the 'bricklayer' approach to creativity - that is you need to make a start and just keep working, "discipline and faith" being key to this. Kind of similar to Elizabeth Gilbert's idea of being the mule for creativity where you "show up" and "do your job". Or the idea of persistence as I've mentioned before.

You can read a little more about Kimberly's ideas on her stages of the creative process here. Or watch the talk on TED.

Is this how your creative process works for you? Are these your steps? Or are there other aspects that help you kick your creative mojo along?


  1. And I always thought I was just 'daydreaming'. I'm not an artist in the sense of the word, but I do a lot of creative projects and spend a lot of time thinking about things, ideas, how I can make them, what fabric to use. Reading this made me realize I do go through a similar process. I just wish I had the time to do more of it instead of fitting it in to a 'full time job routine'...T

  2. Wow... Very interesting! This really rings true for me and I didn't realise but I actually do go through this process When I'm creating things! At least i now now that the doubt bit is quite normal :)

    I love hearing about other people and their creative process Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Isn't this explanation of process just great?