The creative process simplified

The creative process simplified

My conceptualization of the creative process, as illustrated in Part 2 of Raising Creativity (2013), differs from that in the Ontario Arts Curriculum (OAC) document (Ministry of Education and Training, 2009, p. 20). I have purposely synthesized and simplified this version from the Ministry of Education (MOE) for a few reasons, which I will explain herein.

.    There are undeniably many different ways to conceptualize the creative process. Below is the OAC version, followed by my edited version.
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.     The MOE’s version seems especially geared to teachers, in that they specify and articulate certain aspects of the process that teachers would/could/should be involved in, such as “challenging/inspiring” for example. In the classroom this is certainly part of my pedagogy, but in my studio it is something I do on my own (or something that happens to me by chance). Because this documentary will investigate alternative methods of education (informal as well as formal), I did not want to suggest from the outset (embedded in how I represent the creative process itself) that the process is dependent on formal pedagogy.
.     Further, I find much of what is included in the MOE’s version to be very explicit, perhaps unnecessarily so. For example, I find steps 3, 4, and 5 to be one and the same. Yes, one could view “planning and focusing,” “exploring and experimenting,” and “producing preliminary work” as separate, but I am more inclined to view these as one. Personally for me, it is through the production of preliminary work that I explore and experiment, and refine and focus my intentions (i.e. the act of exploratively sketching things out provides me with direction). The word “production” which I chose to use covers all these steps, in my opinion, especially when juxtaposed with “critique,” another broad but rich word I have used for simplicity and to avoid redundancy. With all four words I use, I use them broadly and for simplicity.
.     Additionally, the MOE version is drawn to look like a circle or a cycle, whereas I observe that the creative process is much more convoluted and tangled than this. In the MOE’s description, they indicate that students may not always follow through with every step (p. 20), which is true; however I wanted to stress the recursive nature of how (arguably) most people experience the process of creativity.
.     Finally, I think that concepts are much easier to understand when they’re packaged neatly, clearly, and simply. Given that the vehicle for presenting the creative process in this case is through film, I want it to be easily grasped and memorable so that I can build on it for the rest of the documentary series.



Ministry of Education and Training. (2009). The Ontario curriculum grades
.        1–8: The arts. Ottawa, Canada: Queen’s Printer
for Ontario.
Raising Creativity. (2013, November 7). Raising creativity (part 2/5): Lit review.
Retrieved November 29, 2013, from

Posted by Rebecca Zak

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