My friend Dempsey is a sort of genius, able to revive or build anything that had a life at one time. The toaster, still working, somehow reminds me of the “Tibetan Book of the Dead”, going through various phases of death before it’s nothing but parts lying around. Ideas follow the reverse path, starting with a few whisps of a fragrance, and like DNA, combining with other vague visuals and sounds, end up with a fully functioning organism.
Sometimes the ideas are vague and fleeting, not lasting long enough to grab and connect with something similarily rare to eventually become concrete enough to hang onto. Or I’ve had ideas that are originally sound and substantial but completely unusable; laughable, in fact. I prefer those that more easily evolve into organic connections that will help further my cause du jour, even though it takes some clever noodling and pacing about to finally send the idea to the metaphorical factory floor and make something real of it.
So in the past couple of days, while pondering the toaster, a request came up for innovation on the technology front. Since I’d already been looking for the usual whisps of ideas I was ready to connect these rarified visuals together to somehow create the new animatron. However, what really happened is that the final product was already there as a kind of imaginary hologram, waiting to be made real. This happened in two ways: first, I already knew of several needs waiting out there to be filled and had somehow ignored them. Maybe concentrating on the germ of new ideas, I was able to see the larger need that I hadn’t seen before.
The second way the idea became whole was that someone came to me with their wish. Often this happens anyway, and we just don’t manage to mentally turn that into a product or idea that we can fulfill. Once again, since I was already looking for new ideas the person’s need or wish transformed easily into the idea of a real, physical product.
We all have our own way of connecting the dots to get to where we want to go; mine sometimes happens to evolve from silly objects like a broken toaster. Maybe your process of creation starts with a feeling or a sound. Whatever it is, maybe paying attention to it and letting it nudge you in the right direction will add another arrow in your quiver of new ideas.