A friend asked me this question. I never considered myself a person who generates so many (creative ) ideas so this came up as a surprise to me. I answered it anyway, thinking it might be my time to let others “steal” my idea of generating new ideas.
Early on in my life, I’ve accepted I wasn’t someone whose mind burst with light bulb of ideas. I don’t have a knack or gift of inventing something unique every time I snap my fingers into it. What I’m good at, is connecting experiences and ideas of others, to build new ones.
I’m fascinated with listening and studying others to answers the many questions I have in my mind. I can, for example easily connect person A’s idea with person B’s experiences, to find solutions to my own problem. To generate a new body of idea or solutions, I have to connect the dots of my experiences sometimes, and more often that of others.
Every artist gets asked the question,
Where do you get your ideas?’
The honest artist answers, ‘I steal them.'”- Austin Kleon, author
“I steal them” as what most creative genius biographies would tell us, mine is partly like that. I read and read about other peoples idea to solve a problem. I collect solutions, pick the more plausible ones I can work with, and improve on it. Most of the time, solutions I collect won’t work for me, so I innovate or tweak. I don’t think my ideas or solutions are novel or will work something great. I’m just happy it works or it is something new for me.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.- Steve Jobs