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Cooking is a brilliant analogy for creativity: a chef’s talents hinge on his ability to bring ingredients together to create things. Even the most inspired chef in history did not make bacon appear by mere concentration, nor suggest to the divine forces that a ripe tomato should be on the list of evolution’s desired outcomes. Faith in the creativity-as-combinations view of the world helps creators in many ways. It means that if at any time you feel uncreative, the solution is to look more carefully at the combinations available to you, or to break apart something to see how it’s made. Increasing creativeness doesn’t require anything more than increasing your observations: become more aware of possible combinations. Here’s a test: quickly pick two things in front of you, say, this book and your annoying, smelly friend Rupert. Now close your eyes and imagine different ways to combine them.

If you’re stuck, here are three:

• Rupert with a table of contents
• An annoying, smelly book about innovation
• Reading a book on, or making one out of, Rupert’s face

Now while these combos might not be useful, good, or even practical, they’re certainly creative (and if you think these are stupid and juvenile, you have confused bad taste with lack of creativity). Adding a third element, perhaps a gallon of cappuccino, might yield even more interesting combinations (a caffeine-overdosed, smelly book infused with Rupert’s annoying personality).

Over time, creative masters learn to find, evaluate, and explore more combinations than other people. They get better at guessing which combinations will be more interesting, so their odds improve. They also learn there are reusable patterns that can be used to develop new ideas. For example, musicians throughout history have reused melodies, chord progressions, and even entire song structures. The national anthem of the United States was based on the tune of an old British drinking song. The Disney film The Lion King is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Shakespeare was likely influenced by the early Greek tragedies. Study any creative field, from comedy to cooking to writing, and you’ll discover patterns of reuse and recombination everywhere. It’s an illusion that when an artist makes a painting or an author writes a novel it appeared magically into her hands from out of nowhere. Everything comes from somewhere, no matter how amazing or wonderful the thing is. The Mona Lisa was not the first portrait any more than the Destiny’s Child song “Survivor” was the first four- minute R&B hit.

I’m not suggesting you steal something someone else made and put your name on it. That’s theft, and a fairly uncreative kind of theft at that. Instead, the goal is to recognize how much in the world there is to borrow from, reuse, reinterpret, use as inspiration, or recombine without breaking laws or violating trust. Every field has its own rules and limitations, but creative fields are more liberal than you’d expect.

- Scott Berkun

If you're striving to be absolutely original, you're engaging in an act of futility.  The most original works of art, be they paintings or musical compositions or novels, draw from what has gone before.  On the other hand, the way you see the world is yours and yours alone; it is inevitably unlike anyone else's. The trick is to be able to highlight your special angle of vision, to offset it from conventional perceptions.  After all, in the words of the distinguished writing teacher Sidney Cox (Indirections For Those Who Want To Write), "The only thing that makes you more than a drop in the common bucket...  is the interplay of your specialness with your commonness."

- Fred White
  • Mood: Sunny Mood
  • Listening to: the sound of one hand clapping
  • Reading: between the lines
  • Watching: the wheels go round and round
  • Playing: the fool
  • Eating: my words
  • Drinking: to that


Simplexification's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
If you visit my page, feel free to leave a comment. It doesn't even have to be gushing words of praise (though I am sure we all love to get those). I consider myself a competent artist but I would like to graduate from being competent to being good.... and maybe after that has been accomplished, move on to being great. So constructive criticism is very much welcomed as well.

TIP: 'Dude, your art sux!' is not constructive criticism.

P.S. All the watchers - much appreciated! Stalking is socially acceptable here on deviantart :-)

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Anna655 Featured By Owner 19 hours ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank for the fave ^^
Ravenwolf89 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the :+fav: on Essentia 2 ^^
Lupsiberg Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014   General Artist
Welcome to :iconbeingblue:

Greetings, Karin :)
Simplexification Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thomasbossert Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014
thank you for faving..:wave:
lemgras330 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for faving! :happy: hug
Midnitez-REMIX Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Hi Tim,

Coming this August the 16th is :icontoronto:'s biggest and best DevMEET of the summer and we hope you can attend! We will be heading to Centre Island to hang out, check out the petting zoo, going out to eat and exploring the island. It's an all ages meet; come by yourself or with a friend if you like, everyone is welcome!

Journal with full info:…

RSVP Page:… 

If you can make it then please RSVP so we know you are coming. Even if you will be there a bit later than when it starts that's okay too but we still need you to RSVP. So again, hope to see you there! :D (Big Grin)

theory6-brian Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for joining…! I hope you enjoy your time with us! Welcome to the Collective! Let me know if there's anything that I or we can do for you and we look forward to seeing you and your beautiful art around! :D
Kresli Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist
Hi, your artwork is featured here I am a dummy!…
Simplexification Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Phantagrafie Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for faving my work!
Girl in the moon by Phantagrafie
SandraHultsved Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm very thankful for your favs and watch:rose::aww:
StaticLuv Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Love Thank you for joining :iconfeaturemywork:! I'll quickly explain how you can make the most out of our group!

Bullet; Blue The easiest way to take advantage of the group is with our Features! We do a weekly 1 person feature, with a few paragraphs of your strengths, some pointers on how to improve and one Featured Deviation 

Bullet; Green To get a feature, all you have to do is check out the most recent feature and add a comment onto the Featured Deviation! 

Bullet; Red I'm sure you're wondering, "How can you encourage people to say something other than "cool"?" Well, our group offers badges to commend thoughtful, kind, encouraging critiques and words. So far, we have not had anyone simply give a one word reply. Which makes us very happy!

Bullet; Pink So, the badges you may ask? Currently we offer two badges, The Community Spirit Award and the Rising Star Award. The Community Spirit Award basically commends people who are community minded, offering critiques, comments, features etc.

While the "Rising Star Award" is issued out once a month to those who appear to be "One to watch"; showing great promise and skill. Its recoginising hard work, basically C:

As always, we hope to grow and expand. Any critiques, suggestions or thoughts on how FeatureMyWork can improve will be appreciated!

Feel free to ask Self-Epidemic any questions!
3wyl Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello! :wave:

On behalf of ProjectComment, I would like to welcome you to our group! Some of the things we have that you may not know are:
  • Free guaranteed and constructive comments! - All you have to do is contact a Commenter from the Commenter System.
  • Comment Thread! - A fun game that guarantees a comment received for every comment given.
  • Submission to the Gallery! - You must comment on two pieces before doing so, but feel free to submit to our Lucky Draw instead for the chance to be featured!
We also have Targeted Commenting where you can just leave a link to your piece, a few questions, and we'll comment on your piece so that it is more driven and focused for you.

Overall, there are many things, all displayed on the front page of ProjectComment, and many more things to come! If you have any suggestions, concerns, queries or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us!

We hope you have an enjoyable stay! :glomp:
AnimaCreations Featured By Owner May 23, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks, my friend.
Somaritan Featured By Owner May 19, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fave & watch!
Xarime Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks so much for joining :iconthestudentgallery: !!  We’re so glad to have you and are really looking forward to seeing more of your work.  :love:  Feel free to submit art/literature to our galleries, post journals, and interact with our welcoming community.  If you have any questions, you can always leave the group a note.  

Hope you have fun and enjoy our group!  
waywardgal Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Student General Artist
You are so amazing for taking the time out to favorite some of my works! It means so much that you liked it, and I hope you will consider watching Heart
TheRantsofReason Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the favourite on my deviation Confidence :)
CommuMist Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hello, I figured that I should mention that the group Psychedelic Ideas is only for traditional art.
I really like your piece called "Abundancy." Have a good day.
Madame-Rien Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014

hello again :) (Smile) and I hope you are having a beautiful day :) (Smile) I just wanted to welcome you to :iconbeaute-lamour: we are very happy to have you join our small group and we hope you really enjoy it :) (Smile)

If you would like more aid with the folders we have a brief guide here-…

and here is a detail extension of our rules if you need any clarification :) (Smile)…

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns please don't be shy to note us and if you need any help as personally as a artist you are free to contact us and we will try to help the best we can Hug

Enjoy and have a great day :) (Smile)
ARTificialphanTOM Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the fav. :)
LaNora-84 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for the fave a while back :heart:
SolidMars Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wave by chil96

thank you kindly for the fav. I'm glad you found my work worth your time :tighthug:
ARTificialphanTOM Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the fav. :)
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