The Creative Process

This term,"the creative process", is kicked around quite often. It's mysterious, ethereal, fleeting, unattainable, frustrating, joyous, maddening, elusive, bizarre, uplifting. At least it is for me. My 'creative process' still baffles the hell out of me. It's my driving force, and the bane of my existence, my source of balance and joy, my lifeblood, my center. Yet I still can't put my finger on just how this creative process thing happens, and why. Here's how my 'process' happens some of the time (o.k., most of the time):

1) while driving, walking showering (or whatever), I get a flash or picture of something in my head.
2) I search for ten minutes for a sketchbook and a decent pen or pencil so that I can jot and sketch the idea. (Or, I give up, and the it just 'slides' away)
3) I first write about my idea for a while, then make a rudimentary sketch
4) I go back to whatever I was doing, and forget about it
5) some time later, I 'remember' this great idea that I had, and go searching for the sketchbook (one of about eight floating around the house and studio). I usually can't find it.
6) I start playing with some art supplies I have lying around, and 'something' starts to happen.
7) I get interrupted by dogs, kid, or phone. Creative momentum comes to a screeching halt.
8) A couple of days later, I return to the project I started, or some other one that's been collecting dust for a while.
9) Again, interruptions, creative momentum comes to another halt.
10) Finally finish one of the projects that had been 'stewing' for a while. Not in any linear manner. Creative process shaped more like a figure 8, I guess.
11) I run across that sketchbook one day (the one with the great idea from a few weeks/months/years ago). I look at the writing and sketches and wonder to myself: "Gee, why did I not bring this idea (or that idea) to fruition? It's damn good!)
12) I proceed, again, to misplace said sketchbook, along with the other seven I have lying around...somewhere.
13) Start playing with random art supplies, and something starts to 'happen'. Cycle starts all over again.
14) Moral: I guess when I die, my kids can sell those sketchbooks and make a few bucks. No, seriously, I really should keep them all in one place, in an organized fashion (the sketchbooks, not the kids!).
15) Art just happens...


  1. I could identify with all of this - I think a place for the kids as well as the books sounds good to me! thanks for sharing the creative process - ah yes that's what happens when...........

  2. Thanks for reading! Wouldn't it be nice if the creative process was linear...sigh.

  3. I am enjoying your blog. I can totally relate to the one on creativity and misplaced notebooks, sketchbooks and ideas. Very true, I'm always looking for one or maybe scratching notes on a post it to insert into it when I do find the one I want..... also like the one on Spanish word of the day, great picture.

    There is an interesting retablos exhibit in Columbia City that I mention in my blog.....

  4. I think that a lot of people can relate to the creative process that is not quite linear.

    I am actually in a class called creative process right now. It is basically an art based research class. My line of inquiry is art journaling. I blog about it at artjournaling.blogspot.com

  5. Great stuff on your blog, Kelley!