September 10, 2014
The creative process can be a fluid and flowing step by step process. For some though, the process of creating can be very rigid and structured. Most people, without even knowing it, follow a simple common process from the time they have an idea, to the time they have created their final product. By analyzing the creative steps of a mathematician, a poet, an artist, and a musician, it is clear that no two people go through this process exactly the same. Inspiration, clarification, gestation, evaluation, illumination, and final verification, are the six steps that I found in the creative process. This process isn't a universal template that everyone must follow in order to create, but it is clear that the creative process is common amongst everyone.
Before any creation begins, one must be inspired. A subconscious idea can easily spark inspiration for a new creation. While creating a new poem, Amy Lowell in, "The Process of Making Poetry," suggests that she usually finds inspiration for an idea where it barely touches consciousness. Similarly, speaking almost of a day dream; Friedrich Nietzsche, author of "Composition of Thus Spake Zarathustra," is taking a stroll through the woods, "It was there that the idea came to me" (APS 23). Vincent van Gogh in, "Letter to Anton Ridder Van Rappard," proposes that while working on creating a new art piece, due to inspiration and subconscious thinking, the idea has already taken form in his mind before he even starts on it. In the article, "A Letter," Mozart explains that his ideas flow best when he is "completely [himself], entirely alone…or during the night when [he] cannot sleep" (APS 17). Whether in, "The Process of Making Poetry", "Composition of Thus Spake Zarathustra", "Letter to Anton Ridder Van Rappard", or "A Letter", inspiration is most commonly found while subconsciously thinking.
The next step in the creative process is, clarification. Most of the authors in the readings express the importance of writing down ideas for further clarification. In, "Mathematical Creation," author and mathematician Henri Poincare clarifies a new idea by writing it out. Lowell agrees that when "words are there… they must be written down immediately" (APS 21). Nietzsche also retains an idea after inspiration hits him by making a hasty note on a sheet of paper. Another variation of this isn't exactly writing down an idea, but drawing it out. Van Gough expresses that, "I once get the feeling of my subject [when] I draw it in three or more variations" (APS 19). Clarifying the idea is an important step in figuring out what the inspiration truly means.
Each author agrees that the subconscious mind can be motivated when a sight, a sound, or even an...