tion to such an extent that the ideas can be expressed, selecting an idea or group of ideas from those generated and then producing a possible solution to these concepts. These are often labeled in more scientific fields with such terms as preparation, incubation, illumination and verification. The first two of these processes occur entirely within my mind, almost completely without outside assistance while the second two often include interaction with others as I work to communicate and refine my ideas sufficiently enough to communicate both the idea as well as my solution. Each phase presents its own challenges and approaches.
For example, the initial phase is characterized by my interest in solving a problem that I see around me or answering a question I might have about the universe. It can even be something as simply profound as “why do the whorls in that knot of the tree take on that particular shape?” As I become more and more obsessed with the issue at hand, I begin to gather as much available information about the topic as possible, often allowing myself to freely associate ideas from a number of sources. “During the initial, intuitive phase, each thought activates, and potentially retrieves information from, a large region containing many memory locations” (Gabora, 2002). Thus, my ideas are generated from the things I see around me as well as my memories of things from the past and images I see as I continue to kick an idea around in my head. This is different from the second stage of my process because it is mostly conscious as I actively seek new ideas for new work. The thinking taking place is done primarily in the conscious range as I attempt to find answers to any gaps in the ideas that are coming forward and to find ways of connecting them in a unique way.
In the second phase of creation, and the one I allow myself the greatest emphasis, I allow the information that has been gathered to freely associate in the subconscious mind,