Explore – Play – Clarify

3 simple words that drive the creative process

Explore

The creative process is as much about input as it is output. Research, interviews and constant questions all provide raw material to feed into the process. Creativity makes connections between disparate ideas and that only happens with broad understanding.

 

Ideas and creative projects are endless amorphous blobs that largely remain hidden in the finished product. A creator’s task is to figure out which parts of that blob are most relevant to the project and piece them together into an effective and harmonious whole.

“Fail early, fail fast”

- Andrew Stanton, Director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E

Play

Play is perhaps the most important of the three. The creative process is messy and unpredictable. So, creativity blossoms only when the fear of failure is removed – or rather when failure is embraced.

 

When pitches become experiments instead of ultimatums and the workplace becomes a sandbox instead of an assembly line, we have the freedom to try new, wacky things without shame. These ideas may not work in the present, but they will lead to previously uncharted territory. Discoveries made from failures are entirely unreachable by any other means.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Author of Le Petit Prince

Clarify

The creative process is also a reductive process – step by step, layer by layer, continually refining and tempering until all that is left are the elements that directly benefit the core ideas and story. The entire production pipeline through concept, script, storyboards and animation all serve that purpose.

 

Animation also has an incredible ability to clarify that which is cryptic in any other medium. Because it is not restricted to photographic images like video, it can weave seamlessly between reality and abstract thought, bringing understanding to otherwise intangible subjects.

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