The Creative Process has six phases…

  • Inspiration: In which you research and generate many ideas
  • Clarification: In which you focus on your goals
  • Evaluation: In which you review your work and learn from it
  • Distillation: In which you decide which of your ideas to work on
  • Incubation: In which you leave the work alone
  • Perspiration: In which you work determindedly on your best ideas

The first letter of each phase spells ‘ICEDIP’ which may help you to remember the phases

To make best use of the creative process:

  • Each phase should be visited many times (in no particular order), sometimes for a very short time
  • You need to adopt the right phase at the right time. For example, no amount of distillation can help if what you need is clarification. Many creative blocks are due to the determined adoption of an inappropriate phase. So if stuck… switch phases!
  • Each phase has a unique and appropriate mindset and you must use the right one. Failure to do so also often leads to a creative block. (see mindsets and blocks)

Many people do not use all the phases, or visit them enough times. For example when asked to solve a problem an ‘uncreative’ response would be to think of the first solution that comes to mind and then uncritically work this to completion.When you are involved in your creative work, do you make good use of each phase and use each phase as often as you should? This site contains a brief description of all of these phases and there associated mindsets. A far more detailed look at the creative process and techniques to help you work effectively in each of these phases can be found in “How to be Better at Creativity” by Geoffrey Petty – Kogan Page 1997 @£8.99.