My creative process is strong in some areas and rather weak in others. Most are directly related to the environment or lack of truly creative opportunities. My process is simple and is a direct result of my role as a designer within the company.
Step one begins with a thorough understanding of the project objective through questions.
Step two involves research and the amount and type of research depends on the dynamics of the projects.
Step three usually means creating visual comps for consideration.
Step four is presenting options to stakeholders.
Step five is making corrections or adjustments based on feedback. This involves listening.
This process works for the position I have, but is not ideal. I’ve adapted to the status quo, which bothers me and I find it disheartening at times. Projects tend to be a little mundane. Also, I’m not given much time for idea exploration, so creativity usually involves rehashing or freshening up a current design. Honestly, I’m not sure how to change the status quo. How do I convince those who do not value the creative process and the solutions will yield better results? Now this is not to say that I’m not creative, but it seems to be more creative problem solving then any true creative process.
The part of the process that seems to be left out is drawing ideas on paper. Now, I do some, but most creative vision occurs in my mind and then I delve into research. My creative “flow” starts when stakeholders begin presenting the project. As the individual speaks, my mind begins to form ideas based on passion for the project. This is hard to put into words, but it manifests based on how the individual “feels” about the project. The more excited they are about it, the more I am able to develop mental ideas quickly. I hit road blocks when the individual is vague or not enthusiastic about the project…weird.
I value my ability to extrapolate project objectives and direction from the stakeholders through listening. The part of the process that bothers me the most, and I’m not sure where it comes from (maybe it’s the design curse), is that I’m never fully satisfied with the outcome. For me the project continues to evolve in my mind even when the project is complete. So the next time it comes up for a redesign or an update, I incorporate my new ideas. I just wished once that I was completely satisfied upon project completion. I think my solution is to find a position within a company that sees, respects, and values the contributions made by me as a designer. Just today, in a meeting, those working within the “hard number” positions were commended on their direct contribution to the company’s profit increase, but those who support the earning of those process were not recognized…it bothered me.