The Creative Process

This is adapted from a Backer's Only update for my Kickstarter project Portrait, originally posted on June 4, 2012.

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I've been doing a lot of preparation and planning for my trip to Seattle - where my production partner Zach and I will be heading to film Portrait!

As much as this film will be about photography, the biggest focus will be on the creative process. What does it mean to be a creative and to chase your dreams? More importantly, how do you construct those dreams in reality and translate an internal inspiration into something others can enjoy? A lot of it comes down to design. Just as Apple designs an amazing product, a filmmaker designs a great film, or a photographer designs the picture hanging on your wall. It's years of practice, learning, and inspiration that make up various parts of the design process. 

I've been reading Frank Chimero's The Shape of Design to look at the different ways to approach the topic of design and creative process. From the book:

"First, design is imagining a future and working toward it with intelligence and cleverness. We use design to close the gap between the situation we have and the one we desire. Second, design is a practice built upon making things for other people. We are all on the road together."

I highly recommend buying his book. You can get the digital version for $10 or a hardcover for $30 here.

I've also revisited Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs. Steve believed in design and being a true artist with your work. When he was younger, he talked about getting older and looking to the future:

"Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them."

He goes on to say:

"If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you've done and whoever you were and throw them away.
The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, "Bye. I have to go. I'm going crazy and I'm getting out of here." And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently." 

I feel like both of these are fitting definitions for the creative process.

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You can watch Portrait here.


Andy Newman