Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Combinatorial creativity, experienced.

Experience is more important than we think. But, it doesn't start with that shiny new internship. It starts well before that. When you first become aware of the world around you and begin collecting insights. 

They say creativity is combinatorial. It's a remix of what came before. Originality builds from the existing and grows through recombination. It's the culmination of all your experiences.

For example, here's a quote from one of my favorite posts capturing the value of experience:
Picasso is sitting in the park, sketching. A woman walks by, recognizes him, runs up to him and pleads with him to draw her portrait. He’s in a good mood, so he agrees and starts sketching. A few minutes later, he hands her the portrait. The lady is ecstatic, she gushes about how wonderfully it captures the very essence of her character, what beautiful, beautiful work it is, and asks how much she owes him. “$5,000, madam,” says Picasso. The lady is taken aback, outraged, and asks how that’s even possible given it only took him 5 minutes. Picasso looks up and, without missing a beat, says: “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”
Everything you've done influences everything you'll do. Take as much in as you can. The more eclectic, the better. Then, someday, see what you can laterally combine.

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