Featured picture of post "What Are The Five Stages of the Creative Process?"

What Are The Five Stages of the Creative Process?

Kyla Ball

Creativity is required to a greater or lesser degree in almost all projects. Whether it is writing, designing, or strategizing, creativity is what gives birth to innovation. However, what some people refer to as “Creative thinking” is usually broken down into five distinct stages of creativity. So, what is the creative process? And how does each step lead on from the previous stages?

We’ve broken the stages down into a handy list and also provided an interactive infographic with Canva and ThingLink to jog your memory the next time you need to start any creative journey! Click on the tags to see a full description of each stage.

The Preparation Stage

The first stage of the creative process is the preparation stage. In this stage, you’ll research, gather knowledge, and gather resources. Depending on your own particular area or industry, you might read around your subject, study past masters and best in class examples or attend events and trade shows. You might brainstorm initial ideas or background concepts with colleagues.

Ready to learn more?

Take a look at what else you can create with ThingLink or start creating straight away with a free trial account

The Incubation Stage

After completing the preparation stage, the creative process moves into the incubation stage. Incubation is the crucial second stage where you put all that preparation to the back of your mind, allowing it subconsciously to process ideas and hopefully turn these into a creative solution. It is a stage where you can relax and take breaks from your daily work routine and let your mind wander. Activities like exercising, engaging in hobbies or doing nothing at all can help the mind relax and allow new ideas to form.

The Illumination Stage

This third stage is where an original idea should strike. It’s where creative minds have their “Eureka!” or lightbulb moment and come up with an innovative solution or approach. We all have creative potential and this is the stage at which our mind makes new connections to come up with something unique.

The Evaluation Stage

Evaluation is the stage where you can bring your creative idea to life through development, testing, prototyping, elaboration and refining what has emerged from the first four stages. This could involve simply speaking to colleagues or friends about it, or even a more formal process such as market research.

The Implementation Stage

The final stage of the creative process is where the hard work begins – or the fun part, depending on your perspective! If you are working in a team, this stage involves collaboration and communication among team members, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving. Effective implementation is where you turn abstract ideas into tangible products or solutions. There might be a further element of brainstorming at this stage.

Applying the five stages of the creative process

In conclusion, understanding the five steps of the creative process can be extremely helpful if you have a creative project to start. It’s one that is used by many creative people to spark ideas and inspiration. We hope it will help with your own creative process – wherever that is needed!

Ideas for More Creative and Interactive Infographics

These blogs provide lots more inspiration for creating interactive infographics like the one above with Canva and ThingLink!

How to Create Interactive Infographics

Create an Interactive Timeline

Best Interactive Infographics

Ready to learn more?

Take a look at what else you can create with ThingLink or start creating straight away with a free trial account

Other posts