In this season of Creative Lift, “Creating Space,” we’re making the abstract and sometimes confusing creative process more tangible. We’re giving ourselves tools to see the way we move through the creative process so that we can ideate, craft our work, gather feedback, and revise our work with more clarity and flow.

Today’s episode, “Designing with Strategic Thinking in Mind,” builds on the concept of the Illuminary, which I outlined in episode 60. In this imagined space, you can visualize different kinds of creative thinking inside distinct mental rooms. In our last two episodes, 61 and 62, we explored the Studio where you’re invited to think expansively—brainstorming, improvising and experimenting.

Today, we’re heading over to the Workshop, where you’re invited to think critically—making decisions, developing ideas, and revising your work.

When I spend too much time in the Studio, my ideas spiral out of control, leading me into intriguing, but often illogical territory. When I spend too much time in the Workshop, my work bogs down under the weight of my critical eye. 

Even though both rooms are essential, so is the wall between them. Without a wall to separate these kinds of thinking, your inner critic has clear access to throw darts at fledgling ideas. In retaliation, your creativity is likely to rebel and either shut down or tangle storylines into rats’ nests.

My recommendation is that you firmly close your Studio door, and march across the hall into an entirely separate room where you can envision your Workshop. You’ll want to be able to move easily between the rooms—often in one work session, you’ll start out in the Studio to generate ideas, head over to the Workshop to begin to shape those ideas, hit a snag and need to pop back to the Studio to brainstorm again, and then bring your solution ideas back to the Workshop to finish the day’s work. The more capacity you build in these two spaces, the more fluidly you’ll be able to use as you move between them.

Let’s explore the Workshop, which is filled with practical tools and the can-do optimism you need when you’re facing a pile of messy, but promising ideas. 



Find me on Instagram: @naomikinsman

Find Alex on Instagram: @ag.doherty


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