The Creative Process Deconstructed

This post aims to deconstruct the/my creative process. The creative process can refer to any period/series of actions/thoughts that lead to the production of anything and in some cases nothing . . . there are no guarantees with it. I will begin by looking at my recent jewellery range.

This cute, mixed media jewellery range was a long time coming . . .

Making jewellery can be such fun and bring joy to the recipient/customer, but I was never satisfied with using pre-made beads, wanting to make my pieces original. This began a 20yr long journey into how best to do that with my early attempts with polymer clay being rather awful! Along the way I have made resin beads, crocheted pieces with wire and beads and used shrinky dinks printed with my art. None have really been what I was looking for.

When One Idea Leads to Another

Rainbow bead bracelet
Cute enough to … eat?
Shortly after developing my resin pin process I realised I could make tools for stamping with my printer. Then it occurred to me that cutter tools for clay would be just as easily created. This meant that I could have a reliable way of replicating my cute designs meaning I could make multiples to sell. There is a bit of trial and error involved in making designs that work just as well in a 3D print as in clay as on paper. I persevered with this process and have come up with 3 (up to today – 24.07.23) that I would say work. For this range I wanted to aim for cute so I have a cloud, a bee and a rainbow design with very round shapes.

The Dark Side of the Creative Process

I would just like to note here that the creative process is hard work. Ideas may come freely but working through them and getting them to work in real life and deciding between which ones are worth pursuing takes time and effort. And it can be so demoralising when a great idea you have turns out rubbish because you haven’t worked out the process well enough yet. I have no one to teach me so I learn everything the hard way with all the mess and wasted resources. Importantly, this problem solving process keeps my mind occupied which helps to keep me well. Despite the struggle I would recommend it to anyone suffering with intrusive thoughts. In my role as educator I encourage people to be creative and I share my experience to help them but there are no shortcuts to getting great results. The good news though is that those results are so worth it.

Individuality Through Creativity

Having made the cutter/stamper tools, I then decided on a mokune gane technique for the clay. This is a process of folding clay to produce marble – like patterning throughout the cane. This is then accessed by slicing layers off the cane. It is a deceptively simple technique and it takes a while to get it working the way you want. Just another step in the creative process – making well known/used techniques work for you. This creative journey we go on is nothing without our individual approaches. It is our human interpretation of reality from small decisions like which pens we like to use to larger decisions relating to our own moral perspectives that make our creations valid as art. This brings us to topics like copying another artists work/using it as your own or AI training of machines with living artists work. I won’t dive into these rabbit holes today but it is worth considering that when you are being creative the magic ingredient is ‘you’.

Learning About the Creative Process

The creative industries in Britain are worth about £109billion/year according to DCMS. You can learn more about the creative process here including the 4 stages.

I hope this has been helpful and food for thought. Hugs, Ceri xx

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