I once told someone that I was about to spend some time feeding my creativity. He scoffed, responding that I shouldn't have to work at being creative, that's it's just something you "have."
He couldn't have been more wrong.
Creativity isn't inborn nor is it "created." Instead it's a discovery, a product of all of the influences you has absorbed. When you sit down to create, you're actually searching for the answer to a problem, drawing upon everything you've ever heard, seen, smelled, touched or felt. It's not conjuring something up out of thin air. I became fully aware of this difference when I started to animate Honey in Scene 13.
I realized that I hadn't fully designed Honey yet so I went about creating her look. Below are the six pages of "searching" for Honey's look. I knew I wanted a few characteristics for her features (rounded face; almond-shaped eyes; heart-shaped lips) but putting the elements together in a pleasing fashion took numerous attempts over the course of eight days. This process made me realize that the entire act of creating is just that, a process. One doesn't sit down and knock out genius. No artist ever did except for those few prodigies, like Mozart. For everyone else, it's a search for the best solution to the problem, for what best works. On the final page, you'll see what I discovered to be the best solution.