Art 200/ Art 260 / Greg Clayton

Intro Notes

The Creative Problem-Solving process (CPS) is fundamental to finding relevant solutions to real problems.

A path from blank page to presentation:
The creative problem solving process is a series of stages or tasks that outline progress throughout a creative adventure — from the first encounter with a problem, to generating lots of ideas, developing and refining those ideas, and eventually letting go of the final design.

A way, not the way:
As we explore this process, the goal is not to devise a set formula for ideas or solutions, but to discover practices that can unleash our given abilities of creativity, analysis and insight. The methods and stages discussed are not mechanical or formulaic, so much as they are descriptive snapshots of an often highly intuitive and free-form process. Every artist and designer develops a somewhat personal and distinctive working process and creative process. However, in order to produce reliably, on an ongoing and professional basis, we need to know how to get ourselves going, how to keep our work moving forward, and how to deal with roadblocks and detours along the way. We aim, then, to know our own abilities and processes, to better focus them, and to anticipate and prempt barriers, blinders and detours.

And then to get on with the most fun hard work there is — creating.

Creatives: Common Ground vs. Unique Territory

Creative Process, Craft, Content, Form & Professional Practice

Craft, media and tools vary:
Each art & design profession involves its own craft, media, techniques or technologies — graphic designers may harness Photoshop and Illustrator, a fine artist might exploit oil paint or welded steel, an interior or industrial designer will use CAD systems to communicate their concepts.

Content varies:
Each design field has somewhat distinctive content issues — graphic designers may promote product image, fine artists may express a personal perspective or a universal ideal, interior and industrial designers aim for function as well as aesthetic. Marketing and professional practice also vary across professions.

Form is universal — elements and principles apply:
However, all visual art and design fields have generally universal formal issues. These iissues of visual language, expression and aesthetics cross over professional boundaries.

Creative Process is similar:
Further, the process of identifying problems and resolving graphic solutions is similar, even fundamentally identical, across design fields. The general creative process, or problem-solving process, is shared across disciplines, despite each field giving attention to their own priorities and building on their own familiar solutions.

So, basic design and creative process are our common ground — we all are expected to be proficient in these areas.


Concept Statements

Concept drives form.
   Or, if you like, form follows function.                 ( pro/con essay; graphic design basics);
        And matter manifests logos.

Functionalism asserts that In successful design there is first an intent, a purpose and a guiding conception of what is yet to become.
The strength of that concept has more impact on the success of the final design than any other single factor — you've got to develop a worthwhile concept before you can expect a worthwhile design. Your design and your craft flow out of, and respond to your concept.

Go here for a more thorough discussion of Concept Statements, types of statements and means of exploring concepts.

Content Concept

— Describe the message, meaning, information or mood that you want to convey to the viewer/user.

Response Concept

— Describe what you want the viewer/user to think, feel or do in response to your design.

Impact Concept

— Descriibe how you will get the viewer's attention.

Graphic Concept

— Describe the appearance of your design.

Source Concept or Seed Concept (alt Parti?)


Creative Problem-Solving Process

Accept, Analyze, Define, Incubate, Ideate, Select, Implement, Evaluate, Let Go (and Live With It)

Personal Ethos, Style, Direction & Language

One aspect of an artist and designer's work involves stepping back and assessing what it is that I really want to contribute — what kind of difference do I want to make? At any age and stage of a creative career, the artist/designer is motivated by some goal — some set of values or purpose that is personally significant. Just as a concept statement drives design — and form follows function — so a personal concept or personal mission can clarify which projects to pursue and how to approach them. That is, we don't simply create designs, we create our lives — certainly our careers. We can assess the problems we want to solve and the situations we'd like to improve. We can then analyze our resources and opportunitiies and other solutions that are out there. We can brainstorm, sketch and note our ideas for making a difference. Then we can select the paths we will take to have the greatest impact. Then we get on with it. The implementation may take years — even decades. And, if we are really wise, we'll re-consider our career concept again from time to time, alligning and realligning our direction with the deep values that we continue to discover.

Ethos: personal philosophy of service, design and living.

Style/Language: a composite of formal traits and elements that typify our expressions and provide for distinctive content to be explored.

Reference, Sources & LInks

Books like you've never read.
        (excuse the grammar)
If you not yet explored books on creativity, ideation, visual thinking and problem-solving, you've missed some fun books and a lot of surprising ideas.

Whack on theSide of the Head ( Amazon )

Universal Traveler ( Amazon )

Design Yourself ( Amazon )

DRAW! ( Amazon )

Experiences in Visual Thinking ( 2003 1980 )

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques ( Amazon )

Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius ( Amazon )

Edward di Bono (Six Hats1, Six Hats2, creativity video1, ) | Creativity Models |

Visual Thinking Strategies | What is your thinking style? | Creative Leaps |

Creativity Techniques | Quotes |





A Graphic Designer (emphasis on print design/production)

Web, Interactive Media and Software Design:

Interior Design (Contract/Corporate):

Interior Design (Residential):

Fine Art (Painting):

Fine Art (Sculpture):

Art Education (elementary):

Art Education (secondary):

Art Therapy:



Greg Clayton
2D Design
Color Theory


Photography Course
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