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Thoughts

A great idea about coming up with ideas

— Culture & Observations —

When your day to day existence hinges on coming up with ideas, you are always looking for ways to be better and to be more efficient when it comes to idea-making. I really like this quote from artist Chuck Close:

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and somthing else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”

So true. You just have to dive in, really. And be prepared to be wrong, which is OK. You will be right sooner or later. But the other place I recently happened upon was this graphic created by Frank Chimero. This is just about one of the most entertaining things I have ever read about coming up with ideas. It is actually built on a premise that isn’t anything new; I believe it was James Webb Young that wrote that an advertising concept is just a “new combination of old elements.” Hence things like insurance and gekkos, Breakfast cereal and tigers. Chimero just does an incredible job making Young’s point. Artful and funny, this is something both students and veterans can appreciate. I love it.

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