David Lynch Explains Where His Ideas Come From

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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch Presents the His­to­ry of Sur­re­al­ist Film (1987)

David Lynch Teach­es You to Cook His Quinoa Recipe in a Weird, Sur­re­al­ist Video

David Lynch Lists His Favorite Films & Direc­tors, Includ­ing Felli­ni, Wilder, Tati & Hitch­cock

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.