The ICEDIP model created by Geoffrey Petty describes the creative process, contributing to many different aspects from creative writing to creative design. The ICEDIP model was developed to make best of the creative process.
Petty’s creative process has six phases. The first letter of each word spells out ICEDIP. This will help to remember each of the phases:
Inspiration-research and generate ideas
Clarification-focus on your goals
Evaluation-review your work and learn from it
Distillation-decide which of your ideas to work on
Incubation-leave the work alone
Perspiration-work determinedly on your best ideas
Inspiration is described as the research phase. Most of us are already familiar with this stage. Geoffrey explains that the inspiration mindset is to be free, fearless and deeply engrossed. I enjoy this stage because it is not a time to worry about structure and practicality. Let yourself be free of all restrictions. Most creative’s are very self-critical and they don’t give themselves enough time become inspired.
Clarification focuses on solving the problem, what are you trying to do? At times creative minds get so caught up on making something look good that they forget the actual problem. During this phase do not focus too much on beauty but a solution. Geoffrey explains that the clarification mindset is strategic, un-hurried and clear minded.
Evaluation is the phase where you will look back over your work in progress. What needs to be improved? What strengths can be enhanced and perfected? Let’s face it there is always room for improvement. Our mindset here as Petty describes should be critical, positive and willing to learn.
Distillation decides what ideas to work on. Choose your best ideas and expand them, better yet choose a few and combine them. Our mindset here should be judgmental yet positive about where your ideas may take you. Do not choose ideas just because they are familiar, this will inhibit your best intentions.
Incubation is described as leaving the work alone, yet leave it on the surface of your mind. We are bound to run into difficulties in coming up with solutions. Believe in yourself that you will manage to find your way around those difficulties. Petty describes the incubation mindset as unhurried, trusting and forgetful.
Perspiration is where the work is done. Work persistently on your best ideas that you most likely came up with during the distillation and inspiration processes. Perspiration is the final result of many drafts developed throughout all of the phases. Our perspiration mindset needs to be uncritical, enthusiastic and responsive. Many creative minds struggle with this phase because they are too self-critical and tend to think that it is due to lack of talent rather than a need for more work.
Using ICEDIP effectively will require you to practice all phases several times, no specific order. Also, keep in mind the mindsets that Geoffrey describes-these are critical. We all have strengths and weaknesses. While some people are great in creating new ideas they may lack on follow through. Others may be great on follow through and completion while others lack originality. Using the ICEDIP model will help in overcoming weaknesses and improving strengths.