Creativity has phases, too!
Did you know creativity comes in stages?
Think about the creative pieces that you really really like. Sometimes it may feel like the song you play on loop just played itself in the producer’s mind one day. Or that one illustration you have admired for so long just appeared on the designer’s computer screen.
Well, rest assured, they didn’t!
As a result of his extensive research, Graham Wallas, social psychologist and educator, identified that there are four phases of creativity. Let’s take a look:
1) Preparation: Creativity can also be considered as a means to solving a problem, right? To solve that problem, you need as much information as you can gather, i.e. do some preparation. You want to express sorrow musically, but can you do it without the minor notes? If you want to depict happiness in your painting, can you do it with pastel tones only? You want to trojan horse a tedious topic within a fun narrative in your storyboard, but how are you going to go about it?
2) Incubation: You’ve gathered your ideas, now let them simmer for a while. It really doesn’t matter how crazy they may seem. Something great is about to happen.
3) Illumination: Yes, this is that “Eureka!” moment everyone’s talking about. The distance between your end goal and your ideas is closing, and something just occurs to you! Now let’s put that in action, shall we?
4) Verification/implementation: You’ve got the epiphany, now see if it works. Sometimes you’re sure the idea will do wonders, but it may need some polishing. Test it, revise it, build on your “solution”, and voilà!
Whether creativity is a character trait, or something that can be learned is still up for debate. In any case, try contemplating on these phases next time you need to summon creativity 😉