Creativity and Discipline


Creativity and discipline post-photo of Rocky Mountain National Park
From the Top of the Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park

Creativity and Discipline

Creativity and Discipline – both have a symbiotic relationship – I’ve never been skilled at  paint by numbers nor coloring books. Staying in the lines was always so limiting, I was creative.

In elementary school, teachers allowed me the privilege to have lousy handwriting, afraid of stifling my creativity. This freedom has proved to be counterproductive.

When I started my career, I had to create lines, lots of lines that overlaid perfectly to separate images in yearbooks. I was forced to conform to the discipline of rules and that was a good thing.

Creativity needs discipline to keep tasks on track, to keep the vision from losing direction and to maintain the artists’ attention.

Stages of Creativity

There are three stages of creativity from my experience:

  1. The initial Inspiration: I see it, I want to say something about it, this can be reality, dreams or just completely from imagination. What follows is often varying degrees of time as the image develops.
  2. Writing with Patience: In my writing, it’s even worse-the story often becomes over a great amount of time and the story tends to explain itself. I am usually only given clues to what may happen.
  3. First Sketch / Underpainting: I create the underpainting or often a sketch in a notebook. This stage can literally last for years if nothing else shows itself clearly. I have so many notebooks filled and underpaintings hanging  on the wall.
  4. The Final: A shift occurs, suddenly all the images that were not clear find clarity. I believe that with discipline this process can be shorted as attention needs to be focused but this is just a theory.

Creativity and Discipline are Integral to Success

There is a magical  state that occurs in the center of creating  and that is when I know where every dab of color is supposed to go, it’s like paint by numbers without the lines. When observing a painting afterwards, there are often lines and highlights that are completely intangible to the artist but that is the magic of completely disappearing into a work.