Connect the dots

Sue Emms

Knowledge + Experience = Creativity

Apple founder Steve Jobs said ‘Creativity is just connecting things’. Bulgarian writer and blogger Maria Popova also believes that the key to creativity is the ability to make connections .

For the writer, the ‘things’ Jobs refers to are knowledge, observations, and understanding; the connections Popova mentions are the mental leaps we make between those disparate elements to create new insights or ideas.

Hugh MacLeod, lead artist/graphic designer at Gaping Void, demonstrates the idea very nicely.

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Connecting dots to create new ideas can be an intuitive and subconscious leap, a deliberate working out of ideas, or a combination of both processes. But it can’t happen if there isn’t enough raw material to begin with. The brain needs filling up. It needs feeding – with knowledge.

Good news. Knowledge can come from anywhere. Everywhere. To get knowledge, read more. Do something. Explore. Ask questions. Watch documentaries. Join in. Observe life. Read poetry aloud, take the other side of the argument, just to force a new kind of thinking.

Drink it all in. Then use it, consciously or subconsciously. Write. Make creative leaps or plan out a pathway, let inspiration seize you or plot a deliberate outcome. Identify two or more completely separate bits of information and force a connection. (How does that burnt roast dinner connect to a storm brewing on the horizon and the old man walking his dog?)

Keep feeding your mind, keep making connections, and soon, your ideas will be growing in depth and potential.

Feed your brain. Connect your knowledge dots  to form new ideas and new expressions of creativity.

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