Saturday, December 4, 2010


So, we reach the end of the creativity cycle with "perspiration", the step in which the work is completed.  Though a cycle has no beginning or ending, and the creative process doesn't either.  It is also true that the cycle is not circular, but cross hatched with connections to the the previous steps.  Here are the terms we've been discussing,  in no particular order:
 PERSPIRATION            INCUBATION             DISTILLATION            INSPIRATION           CLARIFICATION            EVALUATION                
In the Perspiration phase, we will use the other phases for feedback as we produce, and what we learn will be used or not.  Because we often have a deadline, we feel some pressure at this time to grab whatever is left of our vision in order to include it in the final product.  As the work progresses, self doubt may arise, and we might lose sight of the original inspiration.  I think this is the point at which many sewers lose interest in their creations, and the whole project feels flat.  We blame it on small shortcomings in the work, or on not liking to do buttonholes...but I think it is because we do not honor the pace inherent in this creative process.

This phase asks us to be persistent and faithful to our original intention.  I find that I sometimes need to remind myself of my original joy felt during the inspiration phase, and the almost sensual reaction to analysis during the evaluation phase.  I must remind myself that I trusted my judgment then, and so can trust myself now. 

Does any of this resonate with you in your particular field or hobby or avocation?

creativity techniques
essential resources for creativity
The Creative Process
10 steps for boosting your creativity


  1. This is actually my favorite phase.

  2. I can definitely relate to that feeling of disenchantment near the end of a project. It's the disappointment in imperfection, I think, even though I don't put in the meticulous effort to be a perfectionist! I usually find my enthusiasm again a few weeks after the project is completed and I pull it from the closet with a less clear recollection of all the things "wrong" with it.

  3. Just been catching up ... what an interesting winter you are having, camping and getting away from technology and civilisation... whereas today I have spent all day inside in front of my computer! I don't know how I'd go with being completely cut off from the internet etc, but I know I wouldn't mind a break from it occasionally... right now would be good!! Look forward to more pics of things like that bobcat (bobcat kitten pics would be welcome!).

  4. I concur with the slapdash sewist. I've got disappointment with the imperfection -- when often it's a number of little things that went wrong along the way despite my best intentions. I try and force myself to wear it enough times so that I lose my hyperawareness as it slowly becomes part of my wardrobe, or, if I never get there, I attempt to make changes.

    I really like this: "This phase asks us to be persistent and faithful to our original intention." So hard! But a wonderful way to look at it.


I love your comments and enjoy the conversation that results.