A Book About Process
Today, I am making a big decision. A few days ago, I laid out three possible directions for my book, and today, I am going to choose one to move forward with. Enough of this procrastination! It’s time to just practice what I preach and commit to one thing and get it done.
My directions were 1) a book about style, 2) a book about the creative process, and 3) a book about mindset. Today, after some thought, and hearing from some of you, I believe it is right to go with door number 2.
The creative process is a very near and dear topic for me, and one that I feel is not well understood or covered in any book (as far as I know). I can name books about style and the artist’s mindset, but none about the creative process as it relates to illustrators, and more broadly, to creative professionals such as designers.
Today, I am simply declaring my book topic. This is a huge step for me. I have so much more to say on this topic (as the future author of a book about process, I sure as heck better!), but that is for another day.
I will just say this: one of the biggest pain points for creatives, especially those starting out, is knowing how to start, step through, and complete a job—all the while, feeling confident about your decisions at every stage. The Creative Process is a predictable series of stages that guide you and your client through an illustration project. When we have a well defined, reliable process, we are able to come up with better ideas, make better work, and earn our clients’ trust along the way. We will experience less anxiety, suffer through less creative block, and have far more confidence in ourselves as creative professionals. We will even be able to earn more.
My book about the creative process for illustrators will empower others to make their best work and maintain their sense of creative authority.
The paradox that runs through this book is that the process behind highly creative work is rather boring. Unpredictable results come through a highly predictable process.
Christoph Niemann so poignantly describes this in a recent Instagram post: “Relying on craft and routine is a lot less sexy than being an artistic genius. But it is an excellent strategy for not going insane.” This is exactly what I have discovered in my own evolution as an illustrator.
If I’m honest, I’m a little bit nervous that he’s just gone and spilled all the beans about this topic. But if I’m really, really honest, my hope is for more illustrators to empowered by learning a more predictable creative process, and whether they learn it from me or from someone else is besides the point.
So today marks the beginning of getting down to business on my book. It’s time to start the process of writing my book about process!