In an ideal world, this diagram would be my creative process. To start, I receive a task. Whether it’s from a client, my boss, my teacher, a friend, whatever it all starts with someone saying “Hey, we need this!” Maybe even me saying it. The next step is to learn about it. The basic who, what, where, why, when questions that must be answered or I feel a little lost. Then I begin to research it. Oftentimes a task is centered on a business that I have no knowledge of. On any given day I might be working with a custom home builder, the military, a non-profit and a pet service company. By no means do I know the ins and outs of these businesses, or their audience. This part of my process is always the longest. I find I struggle with a design if I don’t understand the business. I find that research and collaborate go hand in hand quiet often. Most of the time the individuals that assist me with my research are also the decision makers during the project. While I’m learning about what they do, we continually bounce ideas off each other, brainstorm and explore possibilities. Then comes the fun part – I get to create! This is always the part I enjoy the most, taking all of the information I’ve collected and put it all together. I love making sense of chaos in a creative way. Then sometimes it’s back to the drawing board for revisions, hopefully not too many because I’ve listened and interpreted well at the beginning of the process. Then we’re done, but it doesn’t mean I end things there. While in the diagram, things may visually end, but I think it’s important to always explore how anything you create can evolve and grow over time.
The skill I would welcome the most in collaborating with others is someone’s ability to “think outside the box.” I find my biggest weakness is that I have a hard time moving beyond the expected solutions. I think a lot of it comes from working in an environment that clients want the same thing day after day and it’s very hard to convince them to be “different.”