4 step creative process diagram - observer inventor worker bee critic:coach
How to Map your Creative Process (illustration by Steve Lambert)

We really love this simple illustration of the creative process we use in our creative advocacy trainings at the Center for Artistic Activism.

We find ourselves coming back to it again and again because people find it so useful for mapping their own patterns and pathways and for getting unstuck in teams.

The Observer phase might include all the prep work, including the less obvious inputs that feed your process – the TV shows you’re watching, the conversations with friends. In the Inventor phase, we tend to help advocacy groups find new processes to ensure they spend time being playful and inventive dreaming up a wealth of ideas.

It’s so important to separate this from the Critic/Coach phase explicitly and to create processes so this phase doesn’t completely negate the inventiveness that the Inventor phase evoked. And the Worker Bee phase is a phase some rush directly to, missing the deliberate process of enjoying each of the other steps.

Where do you spend the most time in your creative processes? Are there steps you tend to rush through? If you’re on a team, where do your strengths lie? Do you have a completely different mental map of your creative process?

Send us an email and let us know!