Where Do My Ideas Come From?


 Where do I get my ideas? As I grow older and creating stuff becomes more of who I am, the more it comes up. What's my answer? Where do the ideas come from?

I'll be damned if I'm telling you, get your own damn ideas.

Kidding. This is actually really easy to answer: I don't know.

Thirty plus years of creating and I still have no clearer idea of where or how the clarity of an idea arrives. One moment, nothing, the next moment, there it is. It's not always perfect, or fully formed, or even the right idea, but there it is. Miraculous. Floating. Shining.

Sometimes the idea is a power source. Something that shakes me until I get it out onto paper; sometimes it's a component, a part, a tiny bit waiting for the machine it's supposed to fit into.

What gets my ideas going? Anything. Most often, it's considering something odd, or looking at something I've seen a million times like I've never seen it before. GODLIKE, for instance, was inspired by watching a newsreel of the torch lighting of the 1936 Olympics.

The thought arrived fully formed, what if a man FLEW in and lit the torch? That was it. Everything else followed one after another in a frenzy of creation. Ideas opened to reveal other ideas, until there were hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of interrelated ideas creating a world.

I've experienced this many, many times. In fact, it's an almost daily occurrence. An idea appears, and I chase it down like an obedient dog.

I keep a master list of ideas, many of which would look like gibberish to nearly anyone other than me (and even then, it's questionable). I indiscriminately murder ideas on this list all the time. I try to find the ones that resonate the most, or have the most "fuel" in them and leave the rest for later. 

We've arrived at an uneasy truce, the ideas and myself. They arrive and I work on them, and I don't question it much deeper than that. All previous attempts to co-opt the system failed. 

After years of consideration, the only real thing about them I've learned about ideas is this:

The world's best idea is worthless, without execution.