I recently read “An Illustrated Guide to Unblocking Your Creativity” by Annie Mueller on Medium. I loved the way she verbally and visually represented the creative process:
“We need to be consumers in order to take in our world — observe, read, listen, watch, appreciate what’s been created, and hear the larger conversation that we’re part of. We need to be curators in order to choose what we like or don’t, develop our style and taste, clarify our purpose and focus, and find commonality with others. And we need to be creators in order to use our skills, insights, and experiences and share what’s inside of us, process what we’ve received, participate in the ongoing creation of the universe, offer what we have, and grow.
All three roles together form our creativity conduit:
But the creativity conduit doesn’t always flow, does it?”
She goes on the explore all the ways the conduit can get stuck: trash inputs, perfectionism blocking the outputs, misplaced energy, and others.
Mueller’s illustrations help me think about my work in a more holistic way. Too often, people simplify their advice into “this ____ step is the growth hack” and “creatives focus on the ____”. I love that she recognizes the importance of the whole process and shows that our habits can block any step along the way- which affects the whole pipeline.