The Mac Lab

Tag: 5 stages

Painful Processes (Week 29)

by on Apr.16, 2012, under Blog

Every creative journey begins with a problem. It starts with a feeling of frustration, the dull ache of not being able to find the answer. We have worked hard, but we’ve hit the wall. We have no idea what to do next.

…The feeling of frustration—the act of being stumped—is an essential part of the creative process. Before we can find the answer—before we probably even know the question—we must be immersed in disappointment, convinced that a solution is beyond our reach.
Jonah Lehrer / Imagine: How Creativity Works 

I’ve heard many of you say: I don’t know what to do. Or: I can’t think of anything to do. My stock answer is: Go to Inspiration (our digital morgue file) for inspiration but how many times have I also suggested you try re-reading the 5 Stages of the Creative Process?

The real questions for the frustrated among you is: How many times have you actually revisited the Inspiration pages or re-read the 5 Stages of the Creative Process? Saturation and incubation are part of the process.

I’m not immune to feelings of frustration. Heck, I’ve wrestled with one problem since 1988. But I’ve worked in creative fields virtually all of my adult life and I know every problem contains its own solution, no matter how long it takes to find it. Or, as Richard Bach says:

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.

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Secret Agents (Week 24)

by on Mar.05, 2012, under Blog

At some stage in the process of creation, the creative product—whether painting, poem, or scientific theory—takes on a life of its own and transmits its own needs to its creator. It stands apart from him and summons material from his subconscious. The creator, then, must know when to cease directing his work and when to allow it to direct him. He must know, in short, when his work is likely to be wiser than he.
— George Kneller / The Art and Science of Creativity

To tap into your creative self, it’s critical that you understand and embrace The 5 Stages of the Creative Process. Please take a few minutes to read that page. Yes, I realize that some of you have already read it. Remember: Saturation is the 2nd stage of the creative process and repetition is a key component of saturation. Please read that page.

New XP Scoresheet: Please follow these instructions. Here’s Semar’s template. (Not sure why the link has a strikethrough. It works fine.)

Warning: If you don’t do this today, you’ll lose 100 XP, 20 Silver, and still have to do it tomorrow. Resistance is futile (and foolish).

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

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First Harvest (Week 5)

by on Oct.03, 2011, under Blog

The unconscious, though one cannot force it, will not produce new ideas unless it has been painstakingly stuffed full of facts, impressions, concepts, and an endless series of conscious ruminations and attempted solutions. On this we have the testimony of many creative people.
Morton Hunt / The Universe Within

The artist’s journey isn’t a laid out on a map in a straight line from A to B. It can’t be for one simple reason: The destination doesn’t even exist until the artist creates it. It doesn’t exist until you create it. This year is all about the discoveries you’ll make as you walk along and create your own artist’s path. And this week we’re going to focus on one of the 5 stages of the creative process: Saturation.

There are three videos I want you to watch, listen to, and learn from today. After watching the videos, please follow the instructions you found there. Any questions?

  1. Achieving Simple Elegance
  2. Prelude to Saturation
  3. Saturation and Inspiration

Bookmark These Pages: The 5 Stages of the Creative Process | Logo/Gravatar and Logotype | Inspiration |

Groundhog Day Warning: I’ll be checking the stats and if any of you skip the videos or choose not to follow the instructions, all of you will be repeating the process tomorrow. I’m trying to hand you the keys to your creative kingdom. Please accept them and use them.

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Industrial Strength (Week 3)

by on Sep.19, 2011, under Blog

Creativity is very much like literacy. We take it for granted that nearly everybody can learn to read and write. If a person can’t read or write, you don’t assume this person is incapable of it, just that he or she hasn’t learned how to do it. The same is true of creativity. When people say they’re not creative, it’s often because they don’t know what’s involved or how creativity works in practice.
Sir Ken Robinson / The Element

If you reflexively disagree with Sir Ken, think about my juggling demo. Just as every one of you could learn to juggle if you tried, you’ll all have the opportunity to learn how to tap into your own innate creativity. I’ll help you learn but you’ll have to do your part as well. We’ll get to the introductory lesson by the end of today’s post.

TAG Blog: I’ll be setting up your blogs today but you have to take the first step. Don’t just sit there waiting for me to activate your blog. Continue reading and I’ll eventually call out your name as I work through the 40 or so emails I’ll be receiving each period. Watch these videos: Why and How. If you couldn’t see it in the video, my email is

New Bookmarks: Watch this video (about setting up your account) then bookmark my Google Doc and The 5 Stages of the Creative Process.

Google Doc Scoresheet: Good news and a valuable tip. Watch this video.

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Landmarks and Breakthroughs (Week 10)

by on Nov.08, 2010, under Blog

mark_l_self_portrait_01_smAt some stage in the process of creation, the creative product—whether painting, poem, or scientific theory—takes on a life of its own and transmits its own needs to its creator. It stands apart from him and summons material from his subconscious. The creator, then, must know when to cease directing his work and when to allow it to direct him. He must know, in short, when his work is likely to be wiser than he.
—George Kneller / The Art and Science of Creativity

The Mac Lab is currently undergoing a bit of re-creation as we modify the policies, procedures, and expectations to make the experience more rewarding for all of us. I’m well aware of how circumstances seem to mysteriously align sometimes to allow for yet another piece of the puzzle to slide into place. I’m also cognizant of my own place in the process and I try to behave as proactively as possible to facilitate positive results—to take advantage of what Cyril Connolly wrote in Previous Convictions:

It is impossible to undertake any kind of research without being perpetually made aware that the truth is plying us with suggestions, the past prodding us with hints, and if no benefits result from such assistance, it is not the fault of our heavenly helpers but of our all too human obtuseness.

So? What does this have to do with you?

When you’re working on your own projects, please don’t forget your own place in the process. Embrace and utilize what’s written above as well as the quotes from last week. As artists, you need to be aware of the ebb and flow of circumstances in order to ride the crest of your own creative wave. The 5 Stages are your ally in this endeavor. Everyone is capable of tapping into their own unique flavor of creative energy. Like all good things, it takes a bit of effort though. Those who refuse to try are simply cheating themselves.

The Mac Lab Tip of the Day: Moving the page to right here. Bookmark ’em, Danno. Here’s the first tip. Count on a new one every day.

Monday’s Good News: Paint the World with Light is the cover story for the December issue of School Arts Magazine (educator-only). Here’s the article: Page 1 and pages 2 and 3. Did you notice that the article mentions F L O A T? Time to get to work capturing your own submissions for this world-wide collaborative project.

Tuesday’s Even Better News: Wait until you see the splash the Video/Photography Team is about to make! All will be revealed tomorrow.

Kudos: Mac Lab Rookie, Mark L, scores with his first self portrait. Notice anything familiar about his pose? Look at the background over Mark’s shoulder. Check the Wall of Fame. Yep, he based his pose on big brother Christian’s winner from last year.

1109: Philip Behnam has extended an offer to mentor current students in the art of poster design. He’s available from 6:30 to 8:20, nutrition break, lunch, and 7th period. Interested? See his offer here.

The Ad that Launched a Thousand Sales: The wait is over. What are Zipbuds? See the ad. An Epic Win for Steven, Christopher, Kyle, Philip, Christian, Danny, Fadi, Evan, and Collin’s jacket. 😛

Tip of the Day: You are a Desktop Picture (Wallpaper)

Scholarship Opportunity: The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are now accepting submissions. There are 14 categories to enter and many scholarships to be won. The deadline for entries is December 17, 2010 for Art and January 28, 2011 for Video Games. Categories. FAQ. Click to register.

1110: I want your finished self portraits. Well, I want those good enough to feature in the gallery. Not sure? Check out last year’s gallery or the year before that. When you’re sure, rename your Illustrator file (using your own first name and last initial): and put it in my Drop Box. Don’t know how? You must not have watched this Tip of the Day. What? You have more than one great self portrait? Great! Name the second one: and drop it in too.

Tip of the Day: The Missing Toolbar Video.

Coming Up Next Week: Your own logo/identity designs. Here’s last year’s gallery and the year before that. Want to get ideas over the next four days? Logos on the Inspiration Page: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 (and watch the video there)

1111: Today’s Tip of the Day features instructions on how to create your first logotype.

1112: Today’s Tip of the Day features instructions on how to cycle through typefaces.

1113: Today’s Tip of the Day features a tour through the Character Panel.

1114: Today’s Tip of the Day features some OpenType Secrets.

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