Posted on by November 2, 2018

Framework for the Creative Process

My creative process varies slightly depending on the project, be it for one of my freelance jobs, or for a project at school. But I usually tend to keep the same framework in mind while working...I will explain each point in more depth below! Working with a design agency, I notice that the creative process is inevitable with every project, and it is important to think through ideas with clients and generate ways to efficiently produce what is being asked without hiccups. It is important to have some sort of creative process happening while working with clients because running blindly head-first into any project is a big NO-NO. 

In speaking about creative processes and getting the job done efficiently,  our Agency wanted to focus on a personal creative process and move away from the businesses side of creating. So here is the framework view of my creative process as an Illustrator...


So the first step to any creative process includes my intake. How I use the information of the proposed project and use it to ultimately benefit me in the long run. With the intake, I tend to ask as many questions as possible to try to get a better grasp of what is wanted. After I have somewhat of an idea of the whole project, I start to collect reference. I tend to always fall to Pinterest because of their wide range of images and reference material.  

Rough beginnings

I find this step to be the most challenging; actually starting. Starting for me includes a lot of rough sketches and thumbnails. This is the step where, if colour is used, I start mixing and testing colours together, attempting to find which colour will convey the proper emotion and feeling. I've learned that it is important to understand colour theory and the reactions that arise with specific uses of colour! 


As much as being frustrated and annoyed with a project sucks, I believe that it's a healthy step within a creative process, not everything is going to turn out how you imagined. I would say that I actually enjoy being frustrated because it shows me that I may be on the wrong path and that I could benefit in revisiting old ideas. A lot of my frustration does arise when I begin to compare myself to other artists, and whose work looks better than mine, or whose work is getting more recognition than mine. 

Taking a step back

It's also a good idea to get up and take a break from your project unless you're on a tight time constraint, you could benefit from going outside for a couple minutes for some fresh air. I usually like to get up after working and look at my project from a distance, and sometimes ask others to take a look and give me any opinions they have. It usually helps me to break away from myself for a while and look at my work from a different point of view, literally and figuratively.

    Showcasing/ Beginning again

    When I'm finished my project, I'm usually really eager to take a good photo of it to add to Instagram or to my website. After cleaning my work space, I am usually ready to begin the process over again! 

    Digital illustration of hands in redIllustration of a face looking over her shoulder

    If you or someone you know is looking to collaborate with a local illustrator for one of your projects, check out our in-house artist Asha, who is also currently attending Emily Carr University of art + design, majoring in Illustration!