Driving the creative process forward

Chris Chapman at DesignThinkers 2010

Chris Chapman on keeping the creative process moving

The creative process, as many of you have certainly discovered, can bog down fast amid the diverse and often pressing business concerns that exist within the commercial environments we inhabit.

To keep the creative process moving in the right direction at Disney Design Group, my role has evolved over the years from “designer” to also include being a catalyst for creativity and innovation. My goal? To facilitate a highly productive brainstorming and idea-generation process that addresses both creativity and related business concerns along the way – but at distinctly separate times.

How does it work? In the ideation stage, we eliminate all input and concerns about financials, budgets, legal issues – anything that hinders the creative process. This phase is all about ideas. Forget everything else – just be creative.

From there we hit the “brain squeeze” phase. Here we analyze our ideas and poke holes in them to truly evaluate what’s possible out in the real world. Cost concerns, budgets, legalities all come into play. It’s a two-stage process designed to leave us with a strong, realistic idea that’s truly feasible to execute.

While there is no single formula for success with creative thinking, this approach – with each phase involving players from both the creative and business side – does much to keep our creativity moving in the right direction.

Also playing a significant role in driving the creative process forward for us today is technology. The tools at our disposal now are absolutely amazing. A perfect is example is Adobe Bridge, the central hub of Creative Suite that offers easy file management within creative teams and projects.

I often work on a lot of different projects at once, anything from Disney’s Animal Kingdoms, to a Victorian piece for Disney’s Grand Floridian, to something very contemporary, to a science fiction theme.

With Adobe Bridge, having the ability to sort through multiple images easily, or cycle them around to instantly locate what I need, is not only convenient, it actually impacts my creativity. How?

The seamless process that this technology provides helps me to keep the creative flow intact as I work. The technology does not get in the way of the creative process, it fosters it.

The Internet application is another example – it lets me surf the Web in ways that completely simplifies the research. We are also using tablets these days with Photoshop, and this set-up lets me draw right on my screen – saving so much time in terms of scanning and recording documents and information to the computer.

I like to think of today’s technology as part of the creative process and for that reason I embrace it. The easier my life becomes while working within the software on my computer, the more freedom my mind has to be creative.


MARK NUSCA for ADOBE PR in Canada.

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About rgddesignthinkers

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) is the professional body for graphic designers in Ontario. RGD grants graphic designers who qualify the right to use the designations Registered Graphic Designer and R.G.D., a quality signal of standards of professional practice. RGD has approximately 2800 members. Attracting over 1,000 participants and a full line-up of fascinating speakers, DesignThinkers is Canada’s largest, most important graphic design event. It’s an occasion to listen, learn and interact with peers from across the country.
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