What is the creative process? How does it differ from person to person? And what are the similarities? Can it even be defined? If so, to what end?
Taking my own fascination for process and repetition, I thought I'd attempt to answer those questions by simply, asking more questions. Questions on what creativity means to different people from across a wide spectrum of vocations, designed to reveal what the binding elements look like; to extrapolate the gold dust in the glue that holds creative process together. At least, that's the big idea.
From designers to artists to chefs to musicians to writers to programmers (and quite possibly anyone in-between) 12 simple questions are posed to see what creativity means to them and to glean insight into how these individuals are inspired, work, and produce their craft.
Although thoroughly tempting to dissect the results, as part of my own process I'll be letting the subject's answers speak for themselves. A Q&A. No more, no less.
Answering the questions this time: children's author, Will Mabbitt.
C O N C I O U S N E S S
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I make up stories.
What’s your creative process; how do you get stuff done?
I alternate between hard work and daydreaming.
Everyone works differently. When did you become aware that your creative process is your own?
I think i developed daydreaming abilities in childhood but it’s taken me years to learn the hard work part. It didn’t come naturally.
When are you most creative?
When I’m happy.
Can you be creative in a vacuum or do you need outside influences to help?
I prefer to work alone, but I'm always looking outward for ideas and inspiration.
E X I S T E N T I A L I S M
Did you seek being a creative or did creativity find you?
I think everybody is creative. I was lucky to find a way I could express myself.
Do you think your background has had an effect on your creativity?
Ideas, jokes, books and art were celebrated in my family. Having said that no-one ever told me I could do any of those things for a living. I definitely left school thinking that doing 'art' of any sort would be a waste of time.
Have you ever struggled with creativity?
D I S R U P T I O N
Is there any one person, thought or thing that’s changed the way you think?
Yes. I was writing as a hobby and mainly in secret until I saw a postcard of Austin Kleon's book Steal like an Artist. It was a list of rules. Rule 6 was 'The Secret: Do good work and share it with people'. Until then I hadn't even considered showing people my writing. Getting some very basic feedback from others made me better, quicker, and eventually lead to my first book being published.
Do you have one piece of advice for anyone starting out as a creative?
Ideas are great but it's bringing them into existence that will make you happy.
R E F L E C T I O N
Do you think creativity has defined you?
I think it defines everyone.
What would you like to do if you weren’t doing what you do now?
I'd like to be a talent scout for picture book artists (if that job actually exists). I see so many illustrators on Instagram that I think could make amazing picture books, but either haven't been given the chance, or haven't thought to give it a try.