5 Steps of the Artisans Creative Process: Uniquely Owned


Why is it Important for Artisans to Develop their OWN Creative Process?


The creative process is the process of “Creation to Finish” of an idea through a progression of thoughts and actions. To do this, we must incorporate critical thinking, planning, and a form of problem solving.


While we can go through a generic process of steps for this creative process, for the process to be a successful plan for an artist, I honestly believe we MUST incorporate our own unique methods and processes into our art journey. In other words, a generic process is just not enough. Like our art is unique to each of us, our process is equally unique. While the names of each stage might be called a different name, the process tends to be the same. We just add our own uniqueness to it.


The 5 Stages of the Creative Process for an Artisan

The creative process for an Artisan are stages that flow into each other but have an ultimate goal of a project or body of work and the end game. While we work from one process to the next, it is important to incorporate and mesh our own creative processes into each stage. This might take time and we might need to go through a mental process several times as we work through the stage; but eventually we can see what works for us.


  1. Idea stage: As we begin the creative journey, the first stage is the idea stage. This is the stage we start gathering our materials and ideas. Each of us has a unique set of tools we use as artisans that are individual to each of us. For me, I have tools that I use that define my style, like a grout tool that makes specific marks I use in almost every painting. I have marks that I am familiar with and when people see these marks, they see me in my art. For instance, I use a circle mark a lot and will more than likely have that mark in my mind during this “Idea Stage.” This stage is the idea generation where we use journals, or applications to form and record our ideas. As artisans, we tend to brainstorm all the time, but in this stage, we form more concrete approaches to our current body of work or project. Our toolbox of our own artist’s knowledge or past experiences all come into play.

  2. Growth stage: I honestly feel as we are in the Idea Stage, we are also in the growth stage already, so to say. Each thought and preparation, whether it is a new idea, a new song or a new body of work during the idea stage, our goal is to explore them differently which takes us into this growth stage. As we prepare, we tend to mentally set the stage for the growth stage. During this Growth Stage, we explore new ideas with our familiar ideas. We creative, think and ponder, the “what if.” We pull in those thoughts that were populated while we were in the doctor’s office waiting for our appointment, or those ideas we got excited about when we daydreamed. We consider taking risks because we are excited.

  3. Igniting stage: During this stage we gather all our ideas, our thoughts, our boards, notes, journals, pieces of paper and let them all flow into our work. As an artist, I have my texture pastes and gels ready, my palette knifes ready and all those marking tools I love to use. I start to mesh these familiar tools and my plans into my new project or new body of work. During this stage there might be “aha” moments or moments of confusion as we migrate through those ugly parts of our painting or get a writer’s block. But this is when we let risks happen and we migrate between new trial and error ideas with the familiar. The first two stages set the backdrop for this “Igniting Stage” and we plunge forward with a childlike excitement. If we feel fear, we let it be the fear of possibilities.

  4. Assess stage: During this stage, we consider, we stand back and reflect on where we are. We ask, what is working and let the idea what is not working for us happen freely. If we are doing a commission, we bring in the client for a review. If we get stuck, we revisit our Idea Stage again and our toolbox of the familiar. If a regroup needs to happen, we take that risk. If we are feeling good about our progress, we keep going. Sometimes in this stage, I might look for inspiration from music, from poetry, from books, wherever I need to go for me inspiration to spur me to move forward or unblock my creativity is critical.

  5. Confirm stage: This final stage of the Creative Process, “Confirm Stage” is when you put your creative work into the world, post it on your social media, on your website, into your galleries. It is when we decide if we are finished. So many times, I am asked, how do I know I am finished with a painting? For me, this took time actually going through this entire “Creative Process” from the Idea Stage to this Confirm Stage to know when I am feeling confident in this ending stage. It does not mean it is permanent, but the more you go through this creative process, the more confident you will feel in this stage to move forward. Even if you change something later, going through this stage is important, in other words, do not get stuck here. Whether your product is a song, a painting, a writing, in this stage, you finalize your design, bring your idea to life, and share it with the world.

Be excited as your excitement will be contagious. If there are those that do not like your end result, let them move on, you will find so many that will love what you created!

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