Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
I mentioned in my last post that it’s a shame, but I know a lot of so-called professionals that don’t have a preliminary creative process; and this goes doubly for creatives that do their work on a computer.
One of the worst things you can do for your finished piece and honestly one of the worst things you can do for your client is to not have a preliminary creative process. Even if (and especially if) your final artwork is created digitally you should employ a preliminary creative process.
The benefits of doing having a preliminary creative process are:
It prevents sprawl – Have you ever noticed that when you go to a grocery store and you don’t have a list you tend to spend more money and more time there? You find yourself getting sucked into the bargains and things you didn’t realize that you needed.
The same thing happens when you jump into creating a final finished piece digitally before you have went through an iterative process; you will end up doing all of your iteration on screen. You will endless push pixels around your screen. You will keep fine-tuning and control z-ing your work until you have come to a solution that will likely only be your solution because of exhaustion rather than intentionality.
You would never drive to a location without knowing where it is and just hope when you get in your car you’ll run across it in time. If you ever did reach this location this way it would take you much longer to do and likely with much frustration. In most cases you wouldn’t reach that location, but would settle for something that is similar, but not really what you wanted.
In short: sprawl is time and energy wasted.
You will have creative breadcrumbs – One of the main reasons I like having a preliminary creative process is because they leave visual breadcrumbs for creativity (or a marker if you’re not familiar with the story of Hansel and Gretel) that will help you arrive at your solution.
For example: perhaps in your iteration you like the placement of type, but not the composition of the images; when you build off what has been laid down you get to pick and choose with each iteration what you want to put into what will ultimately be in your final creative solution.
It increases your chance of a breakthrough – If you’ve been creating for a while you’ve probably heard people tell you that you should never go with your first idea because it’s usually the most obvious and possibly least creative.
By employing a process and iterating you can get those bad or common ideas out of your head and onto paper so you can make room for the superior ideas.
Ultimately, you may end up realizing that your first idea possibly was the best creative solution for your creative problem, but you’d never know it unless you explored.
That being said, my final thought is that a preliminary creative process is a thoughtful, intentional exploration of ideas that will lead you to the correct creative solution.
One last thing: I’m releasing my book later this year Sketchy Advice (from God); it’s a collection of Sketchnotes on the book of Proverbs. You can pre-order it here and score some original artwork from the book’s interior (to the first 31 pre-sales).