Part 1 of our series on ‘The Creative Process’ looked at forming the mindset for creative projects, by planning ahead and leaving space for processing ideas through procrastination. In this post, we’ll be taking you through our thought process when it comes to generating ideas early on in a project.
The creative side of our brain generally needs no persuasion to get started on ideas. Allowing ourselves to wonder in all directions, and move between different media keeps our thinking broad and open to exploration. Whatever comes to mind, we quickly capture the essence of the idea using anything and everything from words, to mind maps, found imagery, sketches, working on and/or off-screen.
2. STEPPING BACK
What gives us total freedom in the first stage is knowing that we can react in the moment and think about it later. Rather than separating ‘good’ from ‘bad’, we begin to select combinations of ideas, thoughts and material that start to form conceptual directions, each direction focussing on a different focal-point of the brief.
A creative process, while generally moving forward, is never linear. We move back and forth, take detours and constantly revisit places we’ve already been, an important process in solidifying the concept. Once we’ve stepped back & reviewed, we often find gaps we need to fill – which means returning to exploration, beginning to sculpt the design into shape by chipping away at some areas & building on others. If we get creative block, where we can’t move forward or become too fixated, we return to some of the techniques we looked at in our section on ‘focus’: we mix it up, do something different so we can return with a fresh perspective.
NOTES ON USING REFERENCE
When researching, we gather LOTS of imagery from a vast range of sources. When searching, we’re looking at small details within an image that inspire the design: a colour, texture, technique or style. Taking from too smaller pool of reference, not being selective about one characteristic that inspires you, or only sourcing imagery from design blogs can be detrimental, leading to very familiar, generic design work without depth or own-ability.
Although this process stems from our roots as artists, as designers, we’re not looking inwards. Our work encompasses the brand and it’s demographic. We to tap into a category and distill the essence of a bigger, complex brand by using imagery to help us narrow down infinite options to find the visual language most appropriate to the brief.
In our next post, we’ll be looking at how the brief and client inform The Creative Process and help us build the foundations and structure we work to.