Here's another image I'm working on that was once again inspired by an interview I heard on the Spark blog. This one was with Steven Johnson, the author of Where Do Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, a book that explores the conditions needed for innovation and invention. We all love a "Eureka!" moment, and many stories of some of history's greatest inventions are just that - a bright flash of insight that could only come from the mind of a genius. Or are they? Mr. Johnson explains in the interview that many of the greatest inventions - Gutenberg's press, for example - were more likely the result of seemingly random connections, and years of work.
I am particularly attracted to this idea, because I always seem to approach things in a roundabout way. I also really liked Mr. Johnson's idea of a connective environment being the necessary condition for real innovation. An interest in a wide variety of things, an eclectic circle of acquaintances and friends - all of these things drive innovation and creativity in ways that sometimes seem accidental.
In this image, I chose to use Gutenberg, since his story of visiting his friends at their winery and realizing that the wine press they used to crush the grapes would be the right model for his printing press was, I thought, a great start. The light bulb is to represent the "Eureka" moment, but I thought that carving it up into a puzzle was showing that the process is slower and much more painstaking. This is where I've stopped - I'm thinking about images for each puzzle piece to show different elements of the printing press. I feel like I'm missing the "connective environment" - but I also don't want to over-complicate the image. Simple is best.
As always, I love feedback, and I love hearing from you!