I have this nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough for my creative self lately. My teaching schedule is light right now at the museum. Some people might find the break from teaching a relief, but I find myself feeling lost without my classes and my students. I need to find a way to rejuvenate my creative energy before a busy summer of teaching classes and camps picks up in June. I’ve turned to a book called The Artistic Mother once again to try to jump-start my creativity. I’ve turned to this book before and I like Shona Cole’s approach to the creative process and how she manages to fit art into her life while raising five children.
In Shona Cole’s section about the creative process she outlines 4 stages.
- Stage 1: Imagining and Research
- Stage 2: Preparation
- Stage 3: Project Execution
- Stage 4: Resolution
Even though I have studied the art making process at length I sometimes forget these important steps. I have even taught these steps to my students, so why am I so hard on myself when I think I must be doing the project execution stage? Maybe it’s because that the project execution stage looks the most productive, but it’s the first two stages that send my heart racing with anticipation.
Here’s a look at my creative process…
I love the imagining and research stage of the creative process. My mind races with ideas. Maybe we could try this! What would happen if we used this media? Nothing right, nothing wrong. Just glorious ideas racing through my head. Possibilities…
Then on to the preparation stage. A trip to the art supply store brings more ideas. Crisp, beautiful white paper with a subtle texture practically begs me to take it home. Once I’m back home or in my classroom, I set out the supplies on the counter, all lined up just waiting to be made into something more. Something that will transform them into art!
Then onto the project execution stage. Time to create, time to get messy. Feel the paints glide across the canvas. Cut the papers into shape. Draw the lines of the form. Sometimes I get completely lost in this stage. Someone can be talking to me and I won’t even know they are there.
The resolution stage requires the artwork to be finished. Something inside of me knows its done. Something is satisfied. I would also add to this, a stage of reflection. A time to think about what I made and why I made the choices I did. I ask myself questions about what I would do differently. Inevitably, this leads me back to new ideas and then it’s back to stage one again. The beautiful circle of creativity.
What does your creative process look like? Do you have a favorite stage?