Many of us have a romantic idea about how creativity happens: A lone visionary conceives of a film or a product in a flash of insight. Then that visionary leads a team of people through hardship to finally deliver on that great promise. The truth is, this isn’t my experience at all. I’ve known many people I consider to be creative geniuses, and not just at Pixar and Disney, yet I can’t remember a single one who could articulate exactly what this vision was that they were striving for when they started. In my experience, creative people discover and realize their visions over time and through dedicated, protracted struggle. In that way, creativity is more like a marathon than a sprint.
I've only ever had a painting pop into my brain fully realized twice in my life. Ironically, those were the hardest ones to accomplish.
Great post. I was just writing about much the same thing. Creative works are often a long and difficult birth. I'm currently working on an idea I had 7 years ago for a picture book and two comics narrative that have been in "progress" for the last 20 and 15 years respectively.