Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
One of the most common questions creative people hear is, "Where do you get your ideas?"
Ideas are everywhere, as I've mentioned before. Sometimes it's easy to explain the single source behind an idea such the local football team's colors or shooting stars.
What's fascinating to me is how sometimes creative projects come from several ideas mashed up together.
This idea hit home a few weeks ago when I rewatched the movie Working Girl. (It's streaming on Netflix as of this blog post.) The movie's quite dated (tons of 1980s big hair!), but I felt that what it had to say about creativity rung true. Near the end of the movie [SPOILER ALERT!], the character played by Melanie Griffith tries to explain how she got her big idea from a jumble of random news articles from a business profile to a society page. Nowadays we might be less reliant on print resources, but the basic idea is the same: sometimes the act of creation is more like a tsunami of ideas rather than than a single raindrop.
But You're Not a Scientist ...
Lately I've been making many science and math-related items for my shop. It's true, I'm not a scientist. But it's not a total surprise that I've been in a science/math groove for a couple of months. Here are just a few random events that have been on my mind lately:
- I've been watching old episodes of Friends. Remember that the character Ross Gellar was a paleontologist?
- The news has been bursting with articles about the defunding of the EPA and how some government officials believe that climate change is "fake news."
- It's been a dry year so far in Colorado with very little snow, even though we normally get snow as late as May. There have already been problems with fires even though we're nowhere near peak fire season. (People who live in desert areas think about water a lot!)
- Some knitters are making resistor hats for the Science March that's coming up on April 22, 2017.
- I read the book The Martian late last year. (And saw the movie, too.) I'd recommend both, by the way.
- I've also just started reading Hidden Figures, the book about the women who did the math that helped NASA. (The book was on my March list for the 12 Genres Reading Challenge.)
- A couple of my friends have kids in junior high. They're sharing tidbits about helping with algebra homework. (Remember algebra? You use it every day, right?)
Out of that "inspiration stew" has come items such as the dinosaur love earrings, the "climate change is real" key chain, the Pythagorean theorem bracelet, and the rocket and stars barrette, as well as many other handmade math and science gifts.
I don't know how long my fascination with science and math will last, but if nothing else, it reminds me that inspiration may be found in many ordinary activities.
Don't worry about finding inspiration—inspiration will find you!