A majority of great ideas are based on a similar creative process. This article will explain how it works. This is crucial because creativity is one of your most valuable skills. Innovative solutions, lateral thinking and creative ideas can solve nearly every problem in your life, at work or in your personal life.
These five steps can help anyone become creative. However, being creative is not easy. It takes courage and a lot of practice to discover your creative genius. This five-step guide will help you understand the creative process and show you the way to more innovative thinking.
Let me tell you a story to explain the process.
Creative Solutions for a Problem
Newspapers and printers had to deal with a difficult and costly problem in the 1870s. Photographs were a novel and exciting medium back then. Readers wanted more photos, but no one could print them quickly or cheaply.
If a newspaper wanted an image printed in the 1870s they would need to hire an engraver who would etch the copy onto a plate of steel by hand. These plates were used for pressing the image onto the page. However, they would often break after only a few uses. Photoengraving is a time-consuming and costly process.
Frederic Eugene Ives was the man who solved this problem. Frederic Eugene Ives went on to be a pioneer in photography, holding over 70 patents at the end of his life. His story of creativity, innovation and perseverance is an excellent example of how to understand the five key steps in the creative process.
A Flash of Insight
Ives started his career as a printer’s apprentice at Ithaca, New York. He began to manage the Cornell University’s photographic laboratory after two years of learning about the printing process. He spent the remainder of his ten years learning new techniques in photography and about printers and optics.
Ives saw a way to improve the printing process in 1881
Ives stated that while operating my Ithaca photostereotype processing, I had studied the halftone problem. “I fell asleep in brain fog one night and woke up the next morning to see the entire process and equipment still in operation.
Ives quickly turned his vision into reality, and in 1881, he patented his printing method. The remainder of his decade was spent improving on it. He had already developed a simpler process that produced even better results by 1885. The Ives Process as it was known became the standard printing method for the next 80+ years. It reduced the cost of printing images 15x.
Let’s now discuss the lessons Ives can teach us about creativity
James Webb Young, an advertising executive, published a guide called “A Technique for Producing Ideas” in 1940. He made a simple but powerful statement about how to generate creative ideas in this guide.
Young says that innovative ideas are created when you combine old elements in new ways. Creative thinking, in other words, isn’t about creating something new out of nothing. It is about taking what is there and using it to create something new. The ability to create new combinations depends on your ability to recognize the relationships between concepts. You can create a new link between two ideas by being creative. Young believed that this five-step process of creative connection was the best.