Sunday, June 22, 2008

Warren Ellis on Creativity

Warren Ellis has a great little rant up about his experience of creativity:

I still get asked with appalling regularity “where my ideas come from.”

Here’s the deal. I flood my poor ageing head with information. Any information. Lots of it. And I let it all slosh around in the back of my brain, in the part normal people use for remembering bills, thinking about sex and making appointments to wash the dishes.

Eventually, you get a critical mass of information. Datum 1 plugs into Datum 2 which connects to Datum 3 and Data 4 and 5 stick to it and you’ve got a chain reaction. A bunch of stuff knits together and lights up and you’ve got what’s called “an idea”.

And for that brief moment where it’s all flaring and welding together, you are Holy. You can’t be touched. Something impossible and brilliant has happened and suddenly you understand what it would be like if Einstein’s brain was placed into the body of a young tyrannosaur, stuffed full of amphetamines and suffused with Sex Radiation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ummm, it's like he said, but I probably would have expressed it a little differently. I've always thought of creativity kind of like that. All the seeds of information stuffed down into the mental soil and then when everything's right it sprouts into an idea. And like a plant, you've got to nurture the thing a bit after it sprouts (at least make a note or something) or it might whither away.

Works on creative projects, even works at work when there's a complex situation that needs a solution. But I've found some people's mental soil is a bit barren and the poor little ideas never do sprout.