ideas are like waves

Saw a great artist lecture last night by Rick Berry, who has been a figure for years in underground comics, and a bit in the concept art scene, and is mostly an illustrator and figure painter currently. He also teaches a lot

He had some fantastic thoughts on the way the brain works, and how pattern recognition across a culture plays into art and design. One of the best thoughts to me though was when he was talking about his students and how they sometimes felt that somehow they “got ripped off” when they happened to see something similar to what they had done out in the world. His response was that “Ideas are waves, you don’t have them, they have you. When you see another guy, way down the pipe riding that same idea, don’t be upset, wave at him. You both felt the same thing.”

I just thought that was a fantastic analogy, and a great way to be.

That is good.

There’s something to be said for the amount of blood, sweat and tears to take an idea to a product too…

I just thought that was a fantastic analogy, and a great way to be.

The designer’s quandary, isn’t it? To always be the first, to be the the innovator… … to be the man up. It takes a lot of energy to maintain that mindset; energy that could be put to better use somewhere else.

"> It is not once, nor twice, but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.> " > Aristotle, 384 - 322 B.C.

Being first is great, but the right timing and execution makes all the difference.

The faster you can get over the the fact that someone beat you to the punch or rode the same wave you did, the sooner you can focus on making the most of your ride.

The Advertising guru Paul Arden said:

“Ideas are open knowledge, don’t claim ownership. They’re not your ideas anyway, they’re someone else’s. They are out there floating by on the ether. You just have to put yourself in the right frame of mind to pick them up.”


That reminds me of one of my favorites:

Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working -Picasso


You should look at this TED video

It deals with the idea that genius passes through all of us at some point…

… that was 19 minutes well spent.

Thanks bobcat. How did you happen to come across it?