Yesterday, Ryan and I went out for a working breakfast to do some brainstorming and planning. In a sudden fit of creativity, Ryan began doodling out some sketches for a cocktail table design he’s been working on.
“What’s your creative process?” I asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said, still doodling shapes on the sheet of paper in front of him.
“All creative people have a process,” I said. “And this topic might make a good blog post for tomorrow.”
We continued to discuss Ryan’s design process until we got to the bottom it, and it turns out, he does have a process and it’s in the shape of a pyramid.
Visualize a pyramid with levels. The bottom of the pyramid is labeled “doodles.” The middle level is labeled “sketches,” and the top level is labeled “refined drawings.”
Every project starts as doodles on paper. This is how Ryan engages his brain in the design process. Once a doodle starts to take a shape he likes, he begins to sketch, playing with the idea in a more focused way. Eventually, those sketches result in a design he likes, and at this point Ryan gets serious. He gets out the ruler and starts a refined drawing that he will eventually present to the client.
This entire process can take anywhere from an hour to days.
As most artists and writers already know, creativity isn’t some that can be summoned on command, however, it can persuaded to show up if you are patient.
As a writer, I don’t always feel inspired to sit down and write, but my process is simple – I just make myself start writing and eventually the creativity flows. Sure, the first few sentences or paragraphs might be pure crap, but that can be edited and rewritten once I’m in the groove.
For artists and writers it’s all about finding the groove. Once you are there, you are invincible and unstoppable.
So what’s your design process?
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is co-owner of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture, Inc. She is also a full-time freelance writer and founder of HeidiTown.com.