My 3-Step Creative Process

jenna rainey

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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and multi-faceted creative entrepreneur who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to find their inner creative voice.

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My 3-Step Creative Process

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What is my creative process? I’ve been a professional artist for about 10 years and now I am sharing my creative process from idea to finished painting. It’s a three-step process that I think can apply to anyone and help all artists build a good creative mindset.

Before I dive in, let’s talk about: “Why even have a creative process?”

First of all, it is much more difficult to sit down and create work that you love without having some sort of mindfulness or presence involved. Over the years, the more I’ve focused on slowing down my process before painting vs. just sitting down and rushing through something, I’ve always been grateful. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in my style development over the years now that I’ve started to really be intentional about where I get my inspiration from! So many artists get trapped in the scroll of waiting until they see something they like and then copying it. I’m not going to get into copying other people’s work here, but this can be incredibly hindering to your development over the years and there are definitely ways around this. So, let’s talk about it!

Related: Finding Artistic Inspiration


My 3-Step Creative Process

Step 1: Inspiration

Like I said above, getting caught in the scroll and relying on looking at someone else’s work in order to create something is a limiting and dangerous place to be. So, where do I get my inspiration from?

First of all: nature. Well, you hear that ALL the time, so what does that actually mean? The colors you find in plants, the shapes, the textures, all of these details can be big contributing factors to inspiring a painting!

Another great source of inspiration for me is Trend Bible! Think photography and moodboards centered around upcoming trends in design and color direction. Sometimes all I need is some direction for colors and my imagination starts to open up for a painting. Whether it’s an abstract, a pattern, floral piece or landscape, colors often inform everything in the painting for me!

Step 2: Percolation

Once I have the inspiration or the theme set for the painting I’m about to create, it’s now time to get ideas and words on paper to help that inspiration percolate! At this point in my creative process, I bust out my favorite journal and start sketching ideas for the painting or writing down a description of what I’m envisioning. This might sound strange, but this word dump brings out some surprising adjectives and descriptions of the painting-to-be that I never would’ve come up with without this step in the process!

Step 3: Creation

Now it’s time to put pen or brush to paper and start the creation process. I love having my notes, sketches and word dump out during this phase to use as reference points. If I’m painting a floral piece for example that has words like “delicate,” or “dainty,” the vibe would look very different than if I used words like “busy,” or “loud and colorful”. See?

Incorporating more thoughtfulness into my creative process has been so eye opening and surprisingly super fun! What’s a part of your creative process or routine?

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  1. Lizl says:

    I LOVE you Jenna!! Before you think it is weird I just really like your work, your style and gracious way going about your business. I wish you really well.

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