Where do great ideas come from? If you ask Neil Gaiman, he’ll tell you that they come from conscious daydreaming and asking the right questions: What if you woke up with wings? What if your sister turned into a mouse?
Pose that question to Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, and he’ll tell you, very emphatically, that “They come from the Earth… They’re in the air. And, to put them on paper, you bleed!”
Now run the same question by David Lynch, and you’ll get a different answer: “An idea comes, and you see it, and you hear it, and you know it.” “It comes, like, on a TV in your mind.” That’s how Lynch summed things up in late April, while speaking at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) with master interviewer Paul Holdengräber. Closing his eyes, concentrating, Lynch elaborated, explaining that the big ideas start small. You start with just a fragment of an idea, and that fragment becomes “bait” that attracts other fragments, and then more more fragments. And, before too long, you have an entire script. Or a painting. If you want to delve further into Lynch’s creative process, see our related post: David Lynch Explains How Meditation Enhances Our Creativity.