Episode 126

126: The rollercoaster of the creative process

The creative process is like a rollercoaster. It has ups and downs, it can put you in a spin, and sometimes things are moving so fast you don’t even know what’s happening. In this episode we talk about the creative process and how we handle the low points to keep things moving.

“Share early. Share often. Share the stuff that you think looks really sh*t, but there could be a good idea behind it. Don’t hold back too much.”

— Femke

Key takeaways

The creative process can be broken up into six stages. Stage 1: This is awesome. Stage 2: This is tricky. Stage 3: This is shit. Stage 4: I am shit. Stage 5: This might be OK. And stage 6: This is awesome again. It’s a cycle we all go through!

Self doubt happens to everyone, even the most experienced designers. When you find yourself second-guessing your ideas, going through your options can convince yourself you’re on the right path. Try not to make any rash decisions at this point!

Share your work and talk to other people. Getting an outside perspective can pull you out of a low moment by confirming you’re on the right track, or helping you figure out the right direction to go in.

Pressure makes everything move faster. When your project has a tight deadline you can easily reach a low point in the creative process faster. But use the momentum of the deadline to push through it and come out the other side.

Valuable feedback doesn’t only come from designers. People who aren’t designers can give great feedback too! If you don’t have a design team to turn to when you need a sounding board, choose someone else in your company or in your network.

Show timestamps

06:00 – The five stages of the creative process
09:05 – Going through a period of self doubt
11:20 – What we do in the low point
18:40 – How pressure affects the creative process
22:15 – Second-guessing
24:30 – What to do if you don’t have a design team to give you feedback
31:30 – Final thoughts

Show links

Show credits

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Our theme tune was created by Camiel van Schoonhoven