Creative Encouragement: Getting New Ideas through Misconceptions

14 June, 2012

in Creative Encouragement

Wanna know a secret?

One of the most common ways I get new ideas is by seeing something and thinking it’s something else.  Or by thinking “That looks like a….” This thought is quickly followed by the “What if…?” question that leads to the new idea.  For example….

1. Original Drawing – Free Will by Restless Things:

I saw this and thought it was brass studs on a doily.

Which got me to wondering if you could make a pillow with tan linen/muslin/burlap, sew on a extra lacy doily and then bedazzle it with studs?

Sort of a mixed-media, contrasting old-meets-new, rustic-meets-luxe idea. It could be really, really cool. Or a mess.

2. Fire Kit Lamp by Skitsch:

“Is that a vintage Christmas light?” No, it’s a new table lamp by some stellar designers.

But…what if I could make a smaller version with vintage Christmas lights?  Or made a larger one with wood, and just the right vintage orange blown glass vase plus LED light?

3. Scarlett Red Basket by Tina Puckett

“Sweet, Tunisian Crochet!”  Nope…amazing, amazing basket weaving.

But what if you took this idea and made a Tunisian crochet purse?  The idea could be adapted because Tunisian crochet can be so much sturdier than other yarn crafts and you could use some sort of covered rope or piping for the nubby, textural lines.  Like the pillow, there seems to be equal possibilities of a really cool handbag/basket or a mess.

And these ideas…if pursued…lead to their own, maybe wildly divergent, ideas.

This happens to me all. the. time. 

In fact, I’d say most of my creativity either comes from the simple addition of ideas or mistaking what I see. 

Does this ever happen to you?  Do you see something and totally mistake it for something else?  Only to then end up wondering if making it like the something else you thought you saw is possible? Do you get new ideas from misconceptions?

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