My Typical Creative Process:
When I first get an assignment, I immediately start trying to brainstorm compositions. I usually come up with a quick 3 or 4 and jot them down as a thumbnail. After the long process of dumping every idea into a thumb I can think of is over, I usually have 2 or 3 standouts. From there I get feedback from my peers and then sort of take the consensus and draw up the picture full size. If there are any objects in the piece I am not very familiar with drawing, I usually go and grab a couple images of them off the Internet or take some photos myself to have by my side as I draw the final piece.
Most of the time now I ink over my line art once it is finished and then scan the image into Photoshop, where all the coloring and additional values are added. I will usually drop in flat colors first, then if I want to use any textures, those go in second. After that I add value either in a painterly way with low opacity brushes, or in a more traditional comics style way with darker tones of the flat colors involved. The last touch is a few highlights and then voila! The piece is finished.
What Creative Process Should Be Like:
I think the main thing my creative process should contain is some more experimenting. I should probably get a little more feedback as I am coloring the piece and even advice on new methods of coloring to try. I also think I should experiment more with some textures than I do. I also get very monotonous in the thumbnail process, so I should probably try to search my mind for my ideas during that part. I tend to get stuck on a composition or theme and run with it for like 10-15 of the thumbs. Basically, I think I should take a few more calculated risks with the coloring, maybe do a little more written brainstorming before I thumbnail, and look for a little more feedback from fresh eyes in the sketch process.
A Professional Creator’s Creative Process:
The one whose process immediately comes to mind for me would be Bob Dylan, and that is because I recently finished reading about it. For him, creativity always starts in writing. He will sit in front of a notebook or computer and just type/write away, rambling on for pages and pages (for example, “Like A Rolling Stone” was originally 40 verses long). Then after a while he will go away and come back and see what he wrote. At this point, he probably has a melody in his head he wants to use and he will see if any of the words fit that melody. If they do, he proceeds to write the song. If they don’t, he will try and make long lines fit short musical phrasings until it won’t work and then he may just start the process over.
Also, another process that came to mind was Chris Gall's. I interviewed him a year ago on how he created his book Dinotrux. He said he started by basically being inspired by a traffic jam one day and going "Hey, what if dinosaurs were trucks?". Then he went home and wrote a story based around that subject (His process usually starts as "I wanna write a story about (black)" and from their the brainstorming begins). It took him a few months to narrow the story down to its format (somewhere around 250-500 words). From there he went to sketching all the characters and then the scenes to be depicted in the book. He drew and drew and drew until they were ready to be scanned in and colored in Photoshop. Then the book was laid out and long story short he's got his book in the works to be made by Pixar. Quite a nice deal if I do say so.
Great Site about the Book