Create choices, make choices
The creative process in a nutshell:
- Create choices. This is a generative frame of mind. Suspend judgement and analysis. Breadth over depth. You're building up raw material. Brainstorming is a good tool here.
- Make choices: trim, edit, modularize, winnow, polish. This is a reductive frame of mind. Your goal is to take the raw material and form it into a polished concept.
This process is also sometimes called blue sky, brass tacks:
- Blue sky: what's the best outcome we can imagine? No limits, no constraints.
- Brass tacks: how do we get there? What are our constraints? What resources and tools do we have available? This is were you start planning, using methods like Charlie Kindel's 5 Ps.
These 2 stages also map to problem-solving methodologies used by design and engineering.
Design uses a range of strategies from both stages. Intuition, and creative strategies like brainstorming are used to create choices. Iteration, design reviews, critique are used to make choices., , and
It's essential to know which stage of the process you're in, and whether to use a generative or a critical process. If you winnow before you sow, you'll have nothing to show.
See also: capture, organize, synthesize.