19 December 2011

Where do ideas come from?

Shaun Tan and Neil Gaiman discussed this -

"ST:...if you get two ideas that are completely unrelated ... and connect them together, suddenly it clicks.
"NG: That is often the answer to "where do you get your ideas from" - two unrelated things come together and suddenly it produces something new. Two or more things...
"ST: Yes, a minimum of two. It seems that they have to be unrelated, because otherwise your brain forms an existing association that's very hard to get away from. It's almost like you have to displace the emotion to examine it. If it's in its nice little gift-wrapped box, if it's packaged in the way that emotions in everyday life are so often packaged, we can file it away. But when emotion is attached to something that is completely outside of experience, it makes you examine it, as though it has no wrapper on it."

Here's a little exercise you can do in your next sleepless night: pick two unrelated things and try to connect them or 'grow' them into an idea.... you'll either get bored very quickly, or get so enthused that you won't be able to lie in bed any longer.
Beats counting sheep! (For the record - image from here)

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