I've been thinking about the creation process the last few days and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts with you.
Being creative involves putting things together in novel ways. It helps to be curious and to expose yourself to new ideas. For me, that means checking out a lot of blogs and knitting beyond my comfort zone. I find that I ask "What if?" a lot. For the fish mittens, I was thinking about how I liked the Noro patterns like Lady Eleanor and Butterfly and the way the designers worked with the self striping yarn. I also happen to really like Trekking yarn and then POW! the two of them came together for me. But at first I was thinking "What if I made a baby sweater from Trekking in entrelac?"
The creative process can't be forced. Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper as you get more and more frustrated is a recipe for disaster. If you find yourself in this situation, move on. Go have some fun instead, because ultimately, being creative is playful. So the baby sweater didn't feel fun to me. I don't know any babies right now, and I wanted to make something for myself. So I shelved that idea.
Creative ideas take a risk by going beyond what's conventional. But going too far past the edge of conventional risks being misunderstood. That's why you see a lot of art described as "edgy". After I first had the fish mitten idea, I started thinking of sequins, and long flowing fish tails (like my sweet Beta fishy) and using more than one color of Trekking. I had to rein my self in to keep it simple, but I think the concept is more successful that way, and it sure kept things easier for my first one. Otherwise, I might have gotten discouraged trying to put in all my embellishments.
I used to say that anyone could come up with all these crazy ideas that I have, but I don't any more. I've come to realize that I'm a creative person and that it's a talent. But I also believe that no matter what your natural born ability is, with persistence and practice you can improve from your current level and that is the only comparison that matters. So instead of negative thinking like, "I'm not as creative as her", you can think positively that "I've achieved a higher level of creativity than I have before."