Creating a Creative Process

Here’s something for designers and illustrators: When you’re working solo, it’s easy to get sloppy with your process. Sounds counterintuitive, but creative types need a formal working structure to ensure the best outcomes.

In a recent HOW article (and a session at the recent HOW Design Conference in Boston) designer and illustrator Von Glitschka shared his very thorough creative process. And he provided worksheets and guides, which you can use to develop your own workflow. Download those free worksheets here.

One thought on “Creating a Creative Process

  1. Will Mellon

    My creative flow had always seemed irregular and aimless, causing my creative attention and design process to be tainted by stress and unease. Soon enough I found a pattern in the chaos. My creative process has become, but is not limited to, the following structure:
    First, I gather information about the project (similar to Von Glitschka’s creative brief worksheet provided) to determine the design and production requirements and the desires of the client.
    I then find inspiration through researching images, similar projects and relevant information. Sometimes inspiration is derived from things that seemingly have nothing to do with the project.
    Next, I write as many ideas as I can muster into short paragraphs, lists, or scribbled notes; translate the ideas into doddles; then expand on the ideas that have potential.
    To develop one idea, I bounce back and forth between writing and simple sketches. Eventually the idea is translated into a more visual and detailed sketch and finally digital and/or physical design. From there it’s all gravy baby!
    No one step ever requires the same attention from project to project, but I am finding that the more attention I put into the beginning of the project, the easier it gets towards the end of the project. If I am not focused at the beginning a problem may arise that can be difficult to overcome, and that is an inability to hold my attention in one idea and seeing it through to its death or its birth.
    To help relieve this symptom, I create “attention cards” using index cards on which is written one idea my creative energy can be focused on. If I loose attention, I hold the card in front of me until my attention is tuned to what is on the attention card. (If my attention is lost, I take a break. See the August 18 post, What To Do When You’re Stuck.) When I finished one card, I move to the next.