Reflecting on your Creative Process

“I only create when I feel like it.”

Countless aspiring creatives have told me they can only make their art when they are “in the mood.” I once followed this philosophy. Guess how much work I made? My production was erratic and my finalized artwork? Well, it was few and far between.

Once I realized certain factors encourage or inhibit my creative practice I took greater ownership of my creativity. When we take the time to reflect on our past behaviors and choices we can make more informed decisions for our future creative practices!

I only Create when I'm

Do you make a cup of tea each and every time you sit down to write or paint?

How can you begin to identify your creative process?

“How can you begin to identify your creative process?” (Click to Tweet)

Today, let’s only worry about how you begin your creative practice; I prefer mind mapping but feel free to take notes however suits you. Get a pen and paper and consider:

How do you start?

“How do you start?” (Click to Tweet)

Each time you begin making your art you do something, probably many things. What are all of those steps? Do you set up a studio space in your kitchen (I did that at my last apartment in Dubai)? Perhaps you have a desk where you like to write. Note everything and anything you do as you prepare for your creative time. A great way to note this information is to write a story, in narrative form, about all that happens when you begin to make art.

I only Create when I'm "in the Mood" | Artist Strong

My last apartment in Dubai. You can see the kitchen table covered in paper with a giant colored pencil box underneath.

There are many factors you might consider as you conduct this reflection. In no particular order:


What time of day do you usually create?

If you create at random times, have you noticed if you are more “in the zone” at one time or another?


What does the environment you create in look like?

Do you have one spot you always go to create?

Does going to one, or varied, spots help or hinder your production?

Do you listen to music?

I only create when I'm

What mindset are you in just before you start to create?


What frame of mind do you create in?

What usually happens to get you in your creative mood?

Are you happy or sad before you create?

Consider these 3 factors. Write down as much as you can that comes to mind about your creative process. Besides time, getting started is one of the larger obstacles creatives tell me they face. If we can identify the factors that foster our “being in the mood,” we can make better use of the time we give to our creative practice.

“…getting started is one of the larger obstacles creatives tell me they face.” (Click to Tweet)

Keep your reflections handy! Next week we’ll use your reflections to create clearer strategies to help get you started.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What other factors impact or influence whether or not you start to create? I want to know. Tell me about it in the comments below.

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