"Organic" really is the word that sums up improv style to me. I like the way it looks -- every piece has its own character, just as in real life. I like the method, working with materials that are already on hand, just as Mother Nature does. Adapting to local conditions, and letting them determine some of the result.
But, that doesn't mean there isn't a plan. A seed intends to be a flower. It may not know exactly how it's going to be a flower, but that's the goal.
And if things don't exactly work out, that's ok too! Improv provides the opportunity to experiment and try new ideas in a low-risk environment. It's just old scraps.
For my quilt, though, I already have a general idea of the final layout, the colour scheme, what it's going to say, and what the individual elements are likely to be. I never have a shortage of ideas! And since I have the idea, I think it's best to honour it, while staying open to change as it develops.
Personally, I think there must be an idea before anything can come to life, and the timing of the idea -- before or during production -- is not important. Sometimes I think that improv is a little bit of smoke and mirrors. You're never really creating something out of nothing. Jazz musicians improvise on an existing tune. Improv theatre starts with an initial premise, and often follows a rough plot as well.
The challenge, and the benefit, is in figuring out how to get there. You're solving problems, you're developing new techniques, or using old ones in new ways. It's very much a "flow" experience. I'm feeling more confident and relaxed about all my projects, not just this one.
And, I can definitely say that it stimulates creativity! I've been working on several different projects this past week, including a completely new one that is not improv at all. I'm glad I was able to try out these flowers before the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters link up ends. Check out everyone else's posts here!