The 5-Step Creative Process: How to Create Something from Nothing

Caelan Huntress
8 min readNov 14, 2022
Creative Process

Leonardo da Vinci looked at the world with the eye of an artist, and the raised eyebrow of a scientist.

Arguably one of the most creative people who ever lived, he produced paintings, sculptures, feats of civil engineering, and breakthroughs in anatomy, hydrodynamics, and optics.

Less than 20% of da Vinci’s notebooks have survived, totalling roughly 6,000 pages of notes, musings, drawings, and drafts. In his notebooks he collected ideas, from mythical fables to sketches of skeletons, from diagrams of fantastical inventions to coded cryptographic messages. Da Vinci used his notebooks to collect and sort all the possibilities of what he could create into a process that manufactured his ideas into art.

Creativity is focused tinkering over time.

You play with a project, on and off, as long as it interests you. That’s all creativity is — focused play.

Creatio’ is from the Latin. This word was designated as the divine act of ex nihilo — out of nothing, there is something. Christian philosophers argued that this was how man was made in God’s image, in that we shared the ability to create something from nothing.



Caelan Huntress

I help busy professionals transform their performance, maximize their impact, and create exceptional experiences. I wrote the book on Marketing Yourself.