Is there a common process to creativity?
Geoff Petty thinks so. ICEDIP is Petty’s six-phase model of the creative process.
It divides the creative process into six phases:
INSPIRATION, where you explore, generate ideas, have visions, research similar projects, brainstorm and dream.
CLARIFICATION, where you discuss your aims, focus on your goals, research costs and assess risks.
EVALUATION, where you assess which ideas have best potential, and how to improve your work as it moves forwards.
DISTILLATION – the process of concentrating or boiling your ideas down into a single vision.
INCUBATION, or not thinking about your idea! This phase is about letting go and allowing new connections to happen naturally. You may have the occasional ponder.
PERSPIRATION, the hard work phase where you actually put plans into action, with determination.
Petty recommends you need use the six phases in any order you wish.
Personally I find this neatly labels a process we have all been using within creative projects for many years. However it is interesting to note Petty includes incubation, the idea of not working on a project, as a beneficial phase. My best work has included this phase but I have sometimes left this out with projects on a tight timescales.
Petty reminds me not to do this. He is right. There are parts of the creative process that will always be a mystery. We do not truly know where ideas come from, for instance. Incubation allows this mystery to remain, without seeking to grasp at it for definition. And as the Zen saying goes, he who grasps loses.
Can we learn the value of doing nothing?