You're probably here because you build web sites, so you already know that creativity doesn't happen at the flick of a switch. If not: did you ever wonder what really goes on behind the scenes at a communications company? If you ever watched the TV show "Thirty Something", you probably saw Michael and Elliot toss a Nerf basketball around until they got the killer idea. On the Dick VanDyke Show, Rob, Buddy and Sally were fond of throwing paper at each other. I once saw a Tom Hanks movie (can't remember the name of it just now) where they raced in their office chairs and threw pencils and paper airplanes until they finally got The Big One. I'm here to tell you that it's all true, throwing stuff definitely does put you in the mood. I don't pretend to understand it, I just know that it works. But here's the part you never see on television: the next day, when you pitch your concept to the client, THEY THROW IT OUT! Well, alright, I'll admit that you did get to see that part on Bewitched, but come on, when was the last your honey came to the office and pulled your ass out of the fire by twitching her nose? You're damn skippy! Anyway, my point is: as long as you're brainstorming anyway, you might as well come up with more than one idea. The more the better. That way your client will be forced to choose one out of sheer exhaustion if nothing else, and that's better than another night of throwing stuff, right?

Everyone's got their own approach to invoking the creative genie; here's my patented creative process. I start, of course, by throwing stuff. Then, I go to the library and pull out a dozen or so books relating to the subject of the web site that I'm going to build. By the way, never try to put books back on the shelves yourself at the library; always leave them on the table for the librarian to do it. For some reason they think that you're not intelligent enough to put it back in the same place you found it, or maybe it's a union thing, but either way you're gonna get a scathing look from behind the big desk. So don't do it.

After the library, I go back to the office and let things simmer in my head for a while. Throwing stuff also helps during this phase. Then I put on some tunes, fire up Illustrator and Photoshop, and crank out graphics. Lots of graphics. 'Way more than I'll ever use graphics, 'cause I know that the client is gonna throw away most of them. Now usually the public doesn't get to see what ends up on the cutting room floor, but since I am both the director AND the client on this particular project, I am proud to present my discards in this fabulous showcase which I call:

The Bone Yard