THIS BLOG IS MY CASE STUDY BASED ON THE BOOK, WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM, BY STEVEN JOHNSON.
MY MISSION IS TO INTERVIEW THE MOST BRILLIANT CREATIVES ON THE WEB AND DISCOVER WHAT SPAWNED THE IDEAS THAT LED TO THEIR EXCELLENT WORK.
My job is to come up with ideas. More specifically, my job is to come up with ideas for video. I love it. To me, nothing is more exciting than discovering a great concept – not even the actual execution of that idea. It’s that “A-ha!” moment. It’s the feeling of relief after brutal hours and days of searching. It is perfection.
I’ve been in the idea business for many years now. Then, one day, all the ideas stopped. Why did they stop? They used to come to me so easily. Of course, I was experiencing writer’s block. No big deal, right? You bet your ass it’s a big deal. Coming up with ideas is the only thing I’m good at. In these desperate hours, I started wondering, “Where do good ideas come from?” I watched videos on Vimeo and would say, “Damn, that’s good. Why didn’t I think of that?” I was personally out of ideas, however, it seemed like there was an abundance of creativity on YouTube and Vimeo. I found myself contacting the video creators and asking them, “How did you come up with this idea?” I learned that the answers are much more complicated than that.
That’s when I stumbled upon a book titled, Where Good Ideas Come From, by Steven Johnson. It’s brilliant. If you work in a creative field, this is a must-read. Steven Johnson looks at the history of great ideas, from Darwin’s slow hunch on evolution, to the explosion of ideas on the internet. I learned that good ideas come from allowing myself to discover what Johnson describes as my “adjacent possible,” or my creative potential. I learned that sitting in front of my computer was getting me nowhere. I needed to create an environment, or “liquid-network,” that would allow ideas to evolve. Johnson taught me to never let go of that slow hunch until I was ready to make sense of it. That “A-ha!” moment I mentioned earlier wasn’t serendipity, it was a series of scattered fragments of an idea coming together. But let’s be honest, a lot of my best ideas come by pure accident, and that’s okay.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Javier Leiva is the creative director at a video production company in Memphis, TN called Running Pony. His skills include: producing, copywriting, directing and motion graphics.
Creative Babble strives to explore the worlds of advertising, art, copywriting, as well as the creative process. Check out some of Javier Leiva’s personal work at www.javierjleiva.com