29 March 2015

Where do ideas come from?


This is a question dreaded by anyone doing creative work, as usually the first truthful answer is, "I don't know".
I have also previously said that looking for ideas is like asking your brain please and it eventually comes up with the goods...Which in short just means, keep asking questions and eventually answers, or at least parts or answers will come.

The reason I like writing about drawing, art and creativity in general is that even for creative people it often feels like a mystery. Sometimes you're fired up and producing work like crazy, and other times you're wracked with self doubt and frozen in fear, unable to produce anything.

One of the things I keep returning to in my thoughts on how to do good work (or any work at all) is motivation. You can read all the tips and tricks you want on productivity, but motivation trumps all. I try and motivate myself all the time, but in reality I feel fickle. Motivation comes and goes and there's not a great deal I have found to control or understand that. There is however one truth that I know, and it's so simple, that it is easy to dismiss.

Work comes from work...

It sounds like one of those terrible motivational phrases, and maybe it is. But it is true. Ask a writer how to get better at writing they say...write! Ask an drawer how to get better at drawing the say...draw! It sounds like lazy advice but it's true. Of course there is a lot more to it than that and for the actual beginner you will need a heap more. Let me explain.

Ideas comes from ideas. Don't have any ideas, then you had better get some ideas.

Things don't come from nothing, ideas don't appear out of nowhere, although it can seem like that at times. Big ideas come out of small ideas. Big answers comes from big questions, and big questions come from progressively smaller questions.

So if you're stuck for what to write, write anything. Stuck for what to draw, draw anything. Work comes from work, (big) ideas come from (small) ideas that are built on. Nothing comes from nothing.

Create the fertile environment for ideas to come, how do you create a fertile environment? Populate the environment with ideas...

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