The Creative Process (Five Stages)

  • Published on May 28, 2015
  • Welcome to Episode 2 of The Creative Life podcast. In this episode, I describe the classic five stages of The Creative Process and how each stage works.
    The Creative Process - Five Stages
    0:44 - Preparation Stage
    2:12 - Incubation Stage
    3:24 - Insight Stage
    4:36 - Evaluation Stage
    6:48 - Elaboration Stage
    7:54 - Recap of Five Stages
    In this episode you’ll discover:
    How the Creative Process works?
    Five Stages of the Creative Process Model
    The Preparation Stage - absorbing information
    The Incubation Stage - letting subconsciousness do the work
    The Insight Stage - Aha moment
    The Evaluation Stage - is this an idea worth pursuing
    The Elaboration Stage - 99% perspiration

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    This is The Creative Life, James Taylor's weekly RUclip show.
    As a creativity expert Taylor is a frequent guest speaker at universities and international conferences. He has given keynotes and talks at Apple, Subscription Site Summit in San Francisco, the British Music Show in the UK and at several universities across Europe including University of Dundee in Scotland and University of Macerata in Italy. He is often called upon by media outlets to give his views on trends in creativity and innovation. He has been quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Columbus Dispatch, STV, Business Insider and San Jose Mercury News as well as featured on BBC TV and being the subject of a 30minute program on his life for BBC Radio Scotland. As a host on shows about creativity and innovation he has interviewed legendary investor Maynard Webb (, & board member) and New York Times best-selling writers Chris Guillebeau ($100 Startup), Rolf Potts (Vagabonding), Brand Cooper (The Lean Entrepreneur) and Ryan Holiday (Trust Me I’m Lying). James is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA).
    Meet James at
    The Creative Life is a weekly self-improvement show full of #motivation, #inspiration, and #creativity strategies with creativity speaker and author James Taylor.
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    Please watch: "Edward DeBono and The Uncreative Brain - Why You Need Creative Thinking Skills"

Comments • 44

  • Berani Kreatif
    Berani Kreatif 17 days ago

    realizing that actually i did all the stage haha, thank you

  • nub_user
    nub_user 23 days ago +1

    Am i color blind or what

  • B Douglas
    B Douglas Month ago +2

    This is referential of many transformational learning models, but I find it particularly inspired by Dr. Charle's Johnston's life's work called Creative System's Theory. Check it out. ;)

  • elivirius wilifred
    elivirius wilifred 4 months ago

    i like it ,thanks sir

  • Fatma Fairooz
    Fatma Fairooz 5 months ago +2

    Lmao I’ve been on the first stage for like 5 years now 😂

  • Chaka Jones
    Chaka Jones 6 months ago +1

    I found this very useful for my students, to help them understand the process they are going through in relation to a project that they are currently working on. Thanks!.

  • Jacob Reilly
    Jacob Reilly 8 months ago

    Thanks allot for the video mate, really interesting stuff

  • Islaw Silang
    Islaw Silang 8 months ago +1

    of course it's black and white, it's the creativity at work!

  • Rachel B
    Rachel B 9 months ago +1

    This was very helpful! Thank you so much!

  • Andrew Rice
    Andrew Rice 9 months ago

    Realized it was an iterative process through experience, then again realized that I could actually look this stuff up and learn about it and here I am haha

    • Andrew Rice
      Andrew Rice 9 months ago

      The number of ideas that are actually useful probably depends on the context, but within my context it seems to be about 1 in 20 ideas. Interesting how that works

  • Random Life Productions
    Random Life Productions 10 months ago +1

    What the heck is a creative expert, I’m just Random, you don’t need a process to be creative, it happens all around you.....

  • fernando lucas
    fernando lucas Year ago

    So that's when an Account comes in and destroys all this video

  • uhuhuhuwhauwhauwhaaha

    preparation kills creativity and originality

    • Kaen Infurious
      Kaen Infurious Year ago

      undefined thanks for responding! I was questioning the video myself lol.

    • uhuhuhuwhauwhauwhaaha
      uhuhuhuwhauwhauwhaaha Year ago

      true originality and creativity is origined in the moment, even if it's just the day after, most artists have already lost the focus on the original feeling of what they where working on, and it's not a feeling that you can recreate by just trying to "remember", because it's a feeling that changes you in the way you think, you act, you reason, and it's not easy to emulate again a second time, even when you think you got it back you'll eventually realize that it was just you fooling yourself.

    • Kaen Infurious
      Kaen Infurious Year ago

      undefined care to explain?

  • Bisen Vikram
    Bisen Vikram Year ago

    What do you think about the roots of Human creativity..?

    • Bisen Vikram
      Bisen Vikram Year ago

      Very nice.. I ll also try to find that book...
      Do share your thoughts through video..

    • James Taylor
      James Taylor  Year ago

      Funnily enough I've started reading a book about that subject. It's called The Origins of Creativity and is by the author Edward O. Wilson.

  • Bisen Vikram
    Bisen Vikram Year ago +1

    Thanks James for such a nice insight.. I found it very useful.. It will surely help me in explaining Creative process to my students..

  • Steve Mitman
    Steve Mitman 2 years ago

    Excellent content and observations James. Thank you!

  • Travis Zane
    Travis Zane 2 years ago

    Really digging your content! Just starting to put up videos myself after being a photographer & only making private videos for a long time - it's awesome to see other creators and the variety of work that's out there. I love how RUclip can be educational, inspirational, entertaining - pretty much everything! My content is more on the creative/inspirational side (not sure who it would inspire but that's my hope haha). Check it out if you have the time! Enjoy your week :)

  • Pabo Gauna
    Pabo Gauna 2 years ago

    Hey James, thanks for the video. i found it very usefull. Like some peaple say, some stages dont always apply for Design... I think its on us to mold the stages to our own cases.
    Thank you again, very usefull.

  • Sarah Crookall
    Sarah Crookall 2 years ago +1

    Thank you for explaining and breaking down these stages. I really notice the impact of being in different environments and taking walkings to kind of spur insights. Glad I found this channel. Looking for more content about creativity and inspiration. Cheers!

  • myro mira
    myro mira 2 years ago

    What the differences between artstic process and creative process?

    • Sining Tadhana
      Sining Tadhana Year ago

      For me, (just my opinion)..... they are both called "creative process" sometimes but they work differently. Creative process as what is being said in this video is more of a process to be "creative" thinker, to generate ideas and choosing the right one, generating original ideas, or to produce good ideas..The Creative Process discussed in this video is like the Pre-Writing stage of writing or the first stage of art production which is getting inspiration and generating idea, the first stage of design engineering which is to observe and generate idea to solve a problem, or the first stage of designing new things. ..... The artistic process for me is like the design process, it's a process within the Elaboration Stage. It is where you already have an idea and all you need is to start realizing it. It is where you begin to work on the idea, tapping more into your creativity and imagination, then beginning to do research, take notes, read and find reliable sources, preparing the place and materials needed, begin creating the product or a prototype or a model, testing the model or the prototype or the critique process, then reworking on it based on critique, then evaluating it, and finally to present it. It is also not a linear process, wherein you can go back to the first stage or go back to some stages over and over again to work on the product, artwork, design, or other work. :)

  • Norris Evans
    Norris Evans 2 years ago

    James, would you consider as one of your stages: Live life to its fullest and have fun --- pl. see Life is a natural process --- creativity is a natural process --- relax and allow your insightful processes to happen --- comments ..... Thank you

  • codemiesterbeats
    codemiesterbeats 2 years ago +5

    geeze I have million dollar ideas all the time... gotta evaluate them and see which ones will work.

    • Content Creators
      Content Creators 2 years ago

      In the area of business, there is a whole stage of testing ofter the elaboration. Since you cannot evaluate a business idea by yourself, you need users to check it. That's why we have this MVP concept.

  • aana aana
    aana aana 2 years ago

    very helpful

  • hannah tinyep mobya
    hannah tinyep mobya 2 years ago +1

    Glad i watched this , very helpful!

  • Ragini Soni
    Ragini Soni 3 years ago

    What about Idea germination as a step?

  • Englizion | Learn English

    Very useful (Y) ... Thank you very much

    • James Taylor
      James Taylor  3 years ago

      +Englizion | Learn English Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

  • dan kozar
    dan kozar 3 years ago +1


  • Basmah Alaujan
    Basmah Alaujan 3 years ago

    Thank you dear.. I love it it was helpful.

    • James Taylor
      James Taylor  3 years ago

      +Basma Alaujan Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Lots more where that came from.

  • Zanetti VAPA
    Zanetti VAPA 4 years ago

    Is it possible that the 5 stages are out of sequence at times? For example, could you go into the evaluation stage AFTER the elaboration stage?
    I'm trying to make this applicable to the classroom and it seems like evaluation is a part of the entire process!

    • James Taylor
      James Taylor  3 years ago

      +Zanetti VAPA Absolutely. They can be out of sequence at times and they are very much iterative. Hope it is useful for your class.

  • James Taylor
    James Taylor  4 years ago +1

    The Creative Process - Five Stages #creativity