From where do our ideas for creative endeavors come? I think our inspiration comes from our interaction with the world around us — the natural world and the people in it. From those sources we extract portions, break them up, shuffle them around, ponder and consider, scrap them all and start again– until we come up with some sort of creative prompt and subsequent product.
I know I like to think that any creative idea I have came from some deep well of inspiration within me. Maybe it does, but I also know that this well of inspiration consistently needs to be filled with memories of the experiences I have with the exterior world. There are only two activities from The Artist’s Way that I have found useful. One of them is the “Artist’s Date” (the other is writing every day). I try to go somewhere or engage in some sort of activity either by myself or with other people that will fill that well. Since I spend so much time drumming, cooking, gardening and engaging in reflective self-care activities, my writing and image-making often engage those themes.
Maybe we mere-mortal creatives re-purpose other ideas gathered from our worldly roamings, but what about those individuals whom we credit for inventing lofty ideas and devices that have had profound impacts on the world? Archimedes, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, DaVinci, Shakespeare, Locke, Curie, Tesla, Einstein? Where did those ideas come from? If you look at some of them who we consider “geniuses”, most of them were philosophers and scientists. What do they have in common? I don’t know about all of them, but I know some of them kept notebooks where they worked on their ideas, no doubt drawing from the same sources that you and I do: the external world. In fact, I think Plato is the guy who came up with the notion that there is a place where everything in the world has an Ideal Form, a perfect Idea of it, and anything we create is merely a reflection of those ideals.
I propose that we can be just as inventive as these folks. The key is to take the ideas from the well and work and re-work and experiment and write and consider that work until we re-create something glorious on paper or canvas or film or device. They did. So can we.
I am just writing this off-the-top of my head. I am still working on this notion. I may re-work it again. That’s the point! Keep working until you get it “right” (or at least close to it).
Now get working. 🙂
ljg (c) 2019