The creative process.

Often deemed a mysterious, magical happening that some people are blessed with more than others, the creative process is complex, layered and different for many.


There are many trains of thought:

Mr Bingo (legend) has three steps:

  1. Come up with an idea – away from his desk and brainstorms

  2. Work out how going to make the work – research and investigate

  3. Making the work itself – complete the task

His secret – every job and brief he gets, he thinks about what he WANTS to create and convinces the client that’s what they actually need, so that he’s happy with it. Reverse psychology at its best…


Charlie Gilkey of has published The Four Steps of Creativity”

We’ve known for a long time that the creative process can be broken down into four distinct processes, most of which can be fostered and augmented. The processes are:

  1. Preparation

  2. Incubation

  3. Illumination

  4. Implementation


James Taylor, keynote speaker, author and entrepreneur, claims there are Five Stages of Creativity:

  1. Preparation

  2. Incubation

  3. Insight

  4. Evaluation

  5. Elaboration


Geoff Petty, one of Britain’s leading experts on teaching methods ups the stakes with Six Steps:

  1. Inspiration

  2. Clarification

  3. Distillation

  4. Perspiration

  5. Evaluation

  6. Incubation


Personally I work with the Design Council’s Double Diamond approach:

Whatever you subscribe too, it’s a deeply personal journey of exploration, discovery and creation. A messy mental journey trying to satisfy the clients needs, your own creative desires and appealing to a commercial audience – it’s as tricky as it sounds!


However you approach the creative process, I’m sure we’ve all felt this through it:

Credit: Dan Edwards

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