Personal Creative Process

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I am excited to be apart of a blog series headed up by Darrell Vesterfelt on Personal Creative Process. To read more about this series and to see others that are involved check out this page here.

It is easy to think that you are not creative. You know your art and you know how you got to the end result of your art. “To be described as creative would simply be absurd” you mutter to yourself. As some have said in the past, art is not so much expressing oneself, as it is discovering oneself. And so the personal creative process is filled with a lot of discovery and a lot of doubt, but the key word in it all is discovery.

The journey of discovery that I have been on over the last three or so years has been one that has involved a lot of searching for answers. It seems that art sometimes is like a code of numbers that are waiting to be cracked to unlock the mysteries that are within. I know good art. I see it everyday, I listen to it everyday, and I talk about it everyday. But to discover it, to create it,, that process seems locked away in a safe that Danny Ocean could not crack. So how do you discover the creative process? You start doing something.

I love what Ralph Waldo Emerson says:

The greatest discoveries are those that shed light unto ourselves.

I am convinced that the more I learn about myself the more that I start to discover creativity. It is a process that I am still working on but have started to pay attention to the way I am wired and the way that I operate to produce more creativity. This has become important for me. Mainly because for the longest time I was more interested in what others did then what I was doing. I would spend hours reading, listening, or researching others creative process so that I could then go and be more creative but never spent more then five minutes cultivating my own creative process. The art of discovering creativity is examining oneself to see what will return.

Today I want to share with you three things that I am learning about my creative process:

1. Go With My Gut

The best part about this one is that I really don’t  have a gut, in fact I have lost most of it. But that is not the gut I am talking about, I am referring more to that instinct that you have inside of you. The voice that tells you to move in this direction or to stop all together. If you are anything like me, you have discovered that nine times out of ten that voice is correct. Go with your gut is a great way to start to move forward in your creative process and will start to free you from the burden of making “the right decision.” Honestly, there really is no right decision, only what you decide is right and then  move forward with.

2. Learn More About Yourself

One of the best things I did was to take the Strength Finders Test. This allowed me to really see what I was good at and how I could be even better. I had an idea of where my gifting was, but until I took this test I really did not have a name for it nor did I have a definition to accompany it. Now that I know that I am gifted in connecting, communicating and activating, this has allowed me to focus a bit more on these skills and cultivate more creativity. I have also taken the time to listen to others when they talk about me. This is not a conceited type of thing, but more of a chance to grow and learn. Occasionally I will ask friends, “what draws you to me?” Ya it is a bit weird asking that, but I am glad I do, because the answers are often not what I expect. Learning more about yourself is key in discovering your creative process.

3. Watch Yourself Not Others

It is easy to pay attention to those that we want to be like but often miss who we are all together. One of the biggest things that freed me up in my own personal creative process was to start evaluating what I am doing and not worry about what others are doing. I mentioned it before, but I would spend more time watching others and never paying attention to what I was doing. I would buy resources that others recommended, tried to follow their creative process, and even took notes like they would. It wasn’t until I started to realize that this was just not cutting it and that my ways are okay that I started to free up my creativity and started to move forward with my creative process.

These are just a couple of ways I discovered my creative process. I would love to hear how you have discovered your creative process. I am sure that you are rich with helpful tips.

Share with the community: How have you discovered your creative process?


Be sure to check out all the other fine folks that are participating in this extravaganza of creative process blog carnival. Read more here 

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • JamesBrett

    my best advice for creativity is to ride an eagle to work or kidnap your kids’ imaginary friends.

    i wrote a blog post about it here:

    i like the blog, kyle.  this is my first time to come over and check it out.  i found you not too long ago by way of pete wilson’s (i think) blog — and made a note to check out your site when i got a chance.  good stuff.

    • @kylereed

      thanks James, appreciate you stopping in.

      And that eagle stuff sounds epic, going to read about it now

  • David Santistevan

    Good thoughts, Kyle. I actually wrote today on a slightly different perspective about how we need others to help us discover our creative process. I know I never would have thought of myself as creative or been inspired to try new things if it wasn’t for others. We just need to be careful that we’re not defined by what others are doing. We have a unique role to play.

    • @kylereed

      exactly. Figuring out how we play a part in the over arching story is huge.
      Finding the balance is the difficult part. 

      • David Santistevan

        I think part of it is fusing your past and your present together. You have a history, a story to tell. Others can influence you but what they’re doing can’t define you.

  • MichaelDPerkins

    Love #3. For me that’s the most important thing to do. I used to get caught up in what everyone else was doing & my stuff suffered. I even quit handwriting posts cause some ridiculed me. That was dumb.

    I’m to the point where I will watch from afar, but I could care less about what they are doing. I stick to what I do. Really enjoyed your take on this.

  • Jon Fulk

    These are great tips, Kyle!  I especially like the second one.  I think I’ll start asking my friends that question and see where it goes.