The Creative Process
Creativity as a process entails the coming up of new ideas and delivering them to create solutions. Creative works are a function of the thought process. However, these thoughts cannot be effective or realized as solutions if they are not turned into reality. Creativity demands hard work and inspiration and is often linked to intelligence. Creative arts span from tangible things like paintings to intangible works like music and other performances. Music performance has always been a fascinating part of art works on an individual basis. Creative delivery not only satisfies the artist but the audience as well. Creating a music performance as an art does not necessarily require following a particular process.
In preparation for performance of music, I first sample a lot of works on the same song from various performers. A simple song sung by a person could be sufficient enough to stir a lot of imaginations in me. My song choices are mostly based on the occasions I will be performing. With this in mind, I usually collect samples of music and categorize them. Since music is a passion, rarely do good songs pass me by. I often realized that I needed not just be in a concert alone to listen to good music. While it is true that I have my favorite artists that I look up to in terms of performance, preparation of the same requires a lot more than just watching their performances. I have embraced the habit of looking up for songs online. Walking with a notepad and a pen or even my Smartphone has been of critical help in preparation. In the event that I stumble across pieces of music that I really like, I jot them down so that I do not forget. I also mark out things that I am not yet good at or that I need to incorporate in my style of music performance. These collections of ideas from renowned artists, as well as some from inspiration by nature, keep me prepared for my own delivery.
I go through collected material over and over to nurture the thought in my mind. As I do this, I imagine and re-picture the various performances in various aspects. For a specific song, I may consider how different background and dressing choices affected the delivery of music. At that stage, the strength of their vocals, how they interacted with their audience during delivery is of keen interest to me. At times, lying down and letting the whole scenes replay through my head. I envision myself as both the artist and the audience. What a refreshing way of re-living such performances! With various versions of the songs in my head, I imagine myself delivering the songs, and systematically come up with what I liked or did not like about the performance.
After processing the various performances through, I take a break from analyzing the songs. I engage in other activities like reading books, catching up with friends and watching movies. By getting some time away from music, I am able to let my brain process the information through. I also deviate from the intentional effort to get new ideas on the song by listening to other songs which I necessarily may not be performing on. Slowly the song starts infiltrating my mind in a new way. I see possibilities where I had not yet grasped full mastery. At this stage, however, I try to keep off from rushing through. This is because I may disrupt the imaginative process. I simply jot down new ideas as they strike and leave it at that.
Later on, after some days, the whole picture clicks. This is such an exciting process and often strikes me out of the blues. Sometimes, the whole idea of how I want the performance done comes when I am sleeping. It could also happen as I am watching a movie or just walking by the road. Often, I have to stop whatever I am doing and record it down. This moment is usually filled with tension, anxiety as well as excitement. The fact that I have a new idea is very exhilarating. At the same time, I want to capture the idea to every minor detail without forgetting. At such moments, I often have to withdraw from whatever activity I was engaged in order to sketch down the whole scene.
Before birthing the new idea, I first analyze it in comparison to other previous records. I cross check with other previous versions to see what difference my own version has. This process is tasking but worthwhile. Music delivery is often challenging since an artist is sometimes required to perform an already existing song. The challenge is in the fact that the delivery has to be unique and memorable, with a touch of authenticity. With this in mind, I find other potential areas of adjustment in my performance. I plan out how I want some chords to be played and what voices will feature where. In some cases, this comparison has led me to change totally a performance from a solo performance to a duet or otherwise.
Finally, I implement the idea to reality. I collect the relevant accompaniment. This stage is very tasking. I have to ensure that everything is working appropriately. I do a recording of the song on my phone and send it to my close friends who are fellow performers and lovers of music. While it is very tempting at this stage to just deliver my own ideas as the final, I have learned to ask for their opinions also. I have found this act very helpful in performing. By critiquing the demos, I am able to get new ideas to incorporate in my performance. Very honest criticisms are often very useful since they give an idea of how the performance will be received by the audience of interest.
This stage also has to be analyzed scrupulously to achieve a workable performance that is not strenuous on my part or on those involved. Consequently, I often am forced to consider the incorporation of affordable venues or costumes. At times, whole segments of a performance have to be altered and others have to be introduced. The final product is a well designed musical performance waiting to be delivered to an audience.
The creative process highlighted above is how I get to come up with a new musical performance. It is however based on a natural way of creativity. However, some authors have documented the five processes every creative thinker has to undertake in coming up with creative work. First, one has to get the whole picture of the particular art in question. This is often triggered by inspiration from things around them. Secondly, he documents the saturation stage in which the mind actively processes the information to its maximum ability. The incubation stage follows in which the mind has to subconsciously work out the obtained information. The Ah-ha stage follows in which there is a leading breakthrough in the creative art and how it is to be delivered. The final stage involves verification of the new idea. One has to consider if the work is a repetition of formerly existing works or if it can realistically be delivered.
In comparison to the creative process I use for my musical composition, all the above processes have indeed been used. However, it is worth noting that the processes were not exactly in the same order as the above mentioned. Some processes have been iterated before moving to the next. For example, before implementation of a performance, I had to go back to the previous performances to go back to the saturation stage in which I had to start analyzing the new ideas in light of previous performances.
Conclusively, the creative process is indeed tasking. A lot of time and effort are needed in fully implementing creative thoughts. The conception to the delivery of any creative piece is indeed a process. However, one does not have to necessarily follow the “getting the whole picture, saturation, incubation, Ah-ha and the verification” process in exact order to come up with a successful creative art. The processes can still be iterated at some junctures and still yield success.