In the latter case, the process is logical, orderly, comfortable, and and I know when it's done I know whether it's right. In the former case, all bets are off.
The assignment: to make a copy of a drawing by a master. My choice: a drawing of a bear foot by da Vinci (original shown here at The Royal Collection website). The blue sheet of charcoal paper stares me in the face, challenging me with its blankness. I wonder how in the world I can possibly end up with a 16" x 20" copy of his 5.4" x 6.3" drawing. But it's homework, and it's due, and that's beauty of it. Somehow it gets done. And it even works -- even if it takes awhile to be sure that it is finished, and even if it's not clear at first that it's successful. There are no reconciling figures or completed worksheet to signal the end of the drawing.
Some time after taking a week-long workshop with Ann Hechle, I attended her lecture at the 1990 Letterforum about the process of working on the piece about the first hexagram of the I Ching, The Creative. It was also a lecture about the nature of working creatively, which gave me insight into the stages of the creative process -- the new idea and all its possibilities, the first stages of work on the ideas and culling out/giving up extraneous ideas, advice and input from others, the chaos in the middle, knowing when it's finished, and letting it go. All very valuable wisdom ... which I completely forget every time 🙂