Aha Moments: Steps to Smoothly Navigate the Four Stages of Creativity


If you think only geniuses are creative, do think again. There are stages to the creative process, and virtually anyone can master them. Sure, natural born talents are good to have, but they’re not the only way to become a creative artist.

What is creative thinking?

Controlled, creative thinking is a brain process by which a person comes up with a new and novel approach to a problem or need. Writers, scientists and artists are typically masters of creative thinking. Creative thinking is all about devising new ideas with a combination of imagination and reasoning, say experts at the online platform, Psychology Discussion. Creative thinkers conceptualize the world in ways other people do not. This sort of imaginative, innovative thought is what give us new medicines, new music and amazing new works of art and architecture.

The four stages of creativity

You might think that creativity begins with an idea or a thought. In truth, creativity begins with the preparation of the mind. Neuroscientists now understand that people who endeavor to learn about a variety of things are sowing the seeds of imagination and creativity. The second stage of creativity involves incubation. When a writer starts a story and then hits a creative roadblock, they go for a walk, take a bath, feed the cat or otherwise back away from the project at hand. You can do that, too. Once you’ve started a project, your mind may solve related issues when you step away and focus your energies elsewhere. If you’re working on an intellectual project, spend a bit of time exploring your artistic side with an Android coloring book app. Choosing colors and designs may allow your problem-solving mind the work ‘behind the scenes’ while you enjoy a few moments of playtime.

The third stage of creativity is illumination. This is where you experience the proverbial Aha! moment. Creative people are open to this sort of magical revelatory moment and are ready to act when they receive it. The fourth stage is verification when the creative person puts their good ideas to fruition. This is the stage where most people get tripped up. Stay the course, use the tools at hand, and get to work. Before you know it, you’ll be creating something special.

Creative thinkers at any age

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart surprised Austria and the world when he began composing and performing at the age of four. Colonel Harlan Sanders didn’t create his famous fried chicken franchise until he was well advanced in years. Rene Descartes is considered the creator of modern scientific theory. Funny thing is, Descartes dropped out of school and spent two years in bed before experiencing his big creative breakthrough, according to Idea Champions magazine. This goes to show that creative thinking can happen at any age, to anyone.

It doesn’t matter if you were born with inherent talent or not. If you follow the steps outlined above, you can be as creative as you want to be.

Tilly Bishop is an artist who shares her passion for creativity in her articles. She runs adult education classes in painting and sketching and encourages everyone to be creative!


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