I used to think coffee was my greatest inspiration. I guess I was wrong.
I have honestly never given my creative process any thought. It is a given that anyone doing anything creative automatically has some sort of subconscious process that they go through, emotionally or physically, in order to prepare for their craft. But to me, it's kind of like when certain artists don't even consider themselves artists because they're just doing what they love. When asked what my process was, I immediately thought, "I basically just try to make kickass things and get them done on time."
I feel like my response in class made it sound like I work on all my projects the night before. This isn't true! I put a lot of thought into all my work, and just tend to do everything late at night, whether that be weeks or hours in advance. As a student I find it is difficult to truly develop creative skill when there are a billion other non-fun (read: non-design) things that need to be done as well. I cannot wait for the day when I can focus solely on harnessing my creative energy and finally put ALL my time and thought into the process and execution.
Recently, however, I have begun the long process of developing and identifying my process (wow, redundant much?) Without realizing it, I really do have a method to the way I do my work! However, when I heard what others did in order to prepare for designing, I realized I am not as unique as I thought (sad) and that a lot of us did similar things. While it was surprising to discover I'm not the only person who fills their desktop with random Google and Flickr images, it was also comforting to know that other designers do the same for inspiration — I'm actually doing something right! And, although I don't feel I need music to enhance my creativity, I think I will pop on the ol' headphones next time just to see what happens. It should be interesting to see how underground hip-hop will affect my work...
One thing that this activity really made me realize is just how much I design by "feel." Of course, I do the preliminary research for all my design projects; there's just no way to skip that step without failing conceptually. However, once I do begin on a project, I find myself randomly drawing boxes or just clicking swatches just to see what happens. Or sometimes I just rearrange everything and hold down apple+Z to see if any of the in-between stuff strikes my fancy. I need to put just as much thought into my later pieces as I do in the initial designs, and the visual aspect will eventually fall into place.
Note to self: simplistic = bad. simple = good.