The 3 Stages of Creatives

Updated: Apr 16


The journey of most creatives in any creative field can be broken down into three distinct stages. The steps within the stages might look a little different for each field but the concept is the same.


1. The Learning Stage

This stage is relatively the same across all creative fields within art, illustration, creative writing etc.


The learning stage is exactly that, learning. We usually do most of this at an early age when we are learning what shapes, lines, colours, and, light and shadow are. Or learning to speak, write stories and create things through basic play. It’s the basic fundamentals of drawing, building form and, re-creating what we see in our own interpretation, forming language, etc.

One of the most common reasons creatives fail is because they try to skip parts of the beginning foundations, or worse, they skip it altogether. As a result, the feeling of being lost comes into play before realising that the first steps are the most crucial for future success.


Find what the basics are for you and make sure you have a solid understanding of them throughout every stage of your journey.


2. The Hobbyist Stage

Next, we dive into the hobbyist stage where we take what we have learnt in stage one and start to form more complicated forms out of shapes and lines.


At this point, we enjoy creating for the sake of creating. We experiment and enjoy the process because the process is where we can interpret our own visions and interests onto paper.


Being a hobbyist has its perks. Experimenting with material, words, different ways to do and say things. This is where we build on our learning and make our best work because there is no real judgement or criticism. We are just having fun.

The issues begin once we start to compare ourselves to others that have already built success. We compare our level 1 to someone else’s level 50 and start to self-criticise and judge our own work based on that.


The key to keeping yourself grounded in this stage is the way you think about yourself and your work. You’re doing great so be sure to celebrate your little wins and successes even if it was to draw squiggles on a page or write a paragraph.


3. A Lifestyle

Not all creatives reach this stage out of fear or, no desire to take their creativity any further than a hobby. In most cases, it’s the fear that our own judgement and self-criticism from the hobbyist stage will become real in the voices of others. Here’s a little secret, they will because you have allowed them to.


Those who do decide that a creative path is for them start out with a passion to bring beauty into the world through art, writing and even cake decorating and web development.

It becomes our lifestyle which is something we so easily forget as we build our own empire of beautiful people who love our work.

Art and creativity is a lifestyle.

This stage is where all the lessons, creativity and mindset come together to form your way of life as a creative. It's the pivotal moment in our creative journey where we decide that creativity is our life and career.


I find myself somewhere between lifestyle and hobbyist as I pivot and form my brand and business around my love for wildlife, nature and fantasy creatures. Leaning more toward a lifestyle every day as I become 1% better each time I pick up my pencil to draw.


Which stage do you fall into? Leave a comment below :)


Have a lovely day,


Charmaine xo


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