What Is Creative Process?


Quite simply, it is how writers, visual artists, dancers, photographers, musicians and other artists do what they do.

In her novel Very Valentine, author Adriana Trigiani has an absolutely masterful five-page passage that shows her protagonist in deep Creative Process. The magic begins on page 206 as Valentine sets to work on a wedding shoe design as part of a competition run by Bergdorf Goodman. The winner will be showcased in the department store’s coveted holiday windows display.

Scene from Chapter 9 The Hudson River:

We see the third-generation shoemaker Valentine, settle in for a design session as she channels the wisdom of her grandmother Teodora, also her mentor at The Angelini Shoe Company they run together in Greenwich Village, NYC.

“Gram has taught me that, as custom cobblers, we have succeeded only when we have taken something a client needs and turned it into something she desires. I have to think like the bride who chooses to wear this gown and design shoes to complement her style.”

As she sits at the family dining table, Valentine gathers swatches, photos and other items of inspiration together as she considers the many elements that go into shoe design, including line, balance, shape, fit, texture.

“Gram says to keep it simple but not to be afraid of dramatic elements. These are the arenas an apprentice must master. All these notes must dance in the head of an artist as she creates; one element cannot take precedence over another, rather, the goal is a harmonious confluence of all of them. This harmony creates beauty.”

Read it…and be inspired! I was and so have the many clients with whom I have shared this work by Trigiani.