By Steve Favell
David Pearl, of Street Wisdom fame, describes where he believes ideas come from – and it’s not from the head or the heart, but born out of the space between people.
This idea really resonates with me and have definitely begun to experience it first hand, especially working more regularly with a partner. One plus one can definitely equal three, and it is more than just being able to bounce ideas off one another, but when generating ideas that you can’t tell where they’ve come from.
The spirit of collaboration truly is one of the best things about our industry and the fact that creatives work in pairs is something that I think a lot of other industries would benefit from becoming commonplace and not be exclusive to creative pursuits. To the extent that I think anyone who is / or would want to be a single is missing out on something really special about our chosen careers paths.
But perhaps this is too anecdotal. One man’s trash is another man’s twosome (or something like that).
One of the main teachings of Street Wisdom is, by getting out into the world and learning how to effectively tune into outside influences, you can expand your neural network and therefore make your creative output much broader than it would be if you were sat on your own in a room with no external stimulation.
Sounds obvious, right? But when you consider how few us do this and how the majority of workplaces are set up to not facilitate this in the slightest, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking the opposite.
What does it mean for the ownership of ideas if they are accessed from a common consciousness? There have been more than a handful of times I have had an idea, but have later discovered that someone else has also had the same idea. I’m not talking about the subconscious here but two distinct situations where people have settled on the same solution or outcome for something, not to be confused with people subconsciously (or consciously) ripping something off.
Luckily this has only happened on very small things like my recent discovery that our incredibly talent head of craft, Ian had drawn an ampersand in his “Nincompoop” ‘face the same way I have been drawing mine for the last 18 months, way before I’d even heard of the school let alone any of the faculty.
It’s hard not to feel a slight sense of irritation in this situation and the need to prove that I had also came to the same solution distinctly (thank you date stamps on digital files!) but maybe this is just inevitable and we should be encouraged by coming to similar conclusions as one another and be inspired to push further.
I think we need to rethink the phrase, “drive it like you stole it”. If I ever stole a car I think I’d drive it extra cautiously so that I didn’t get caught. New phrase: “drive it like you own it”.