I've just returned from a bit of a world tour. Jet-lagged, tired but inspired, I've been shooting in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Seattle. And as weary as I am, I also feel energised and excited. Because I've seen the power of ideas, and how we should all be using them to break out of our boxes and get creating. They make the world go round - and the world is vast.
As I was driving around the Port of Hong Kong on my way from the airport to the hotel, I saw hundreds of ships coming in and going out to sea, stacked high with containers. It was an awesome sight, and there was no way I could have captured how it made me feel on camera. It was one of those moments I had to simply enjoy, as I wondered what those ships were carrying, where they were going, and where they'd been. But one thing that struck me was that behind every item, in every one of those many thousands of containers, was an idea. Someone had an idea, turned it into a tangible thing, and it was now travelling around the globe to a new home.
As a creative it's easy to get into a silo. We get caught up in our limitations, in the reasons why things don't work, and the things that are holding us back. But the sight of these containers seemed like a brilliant metaphor for me, that you can never think big enough. There's always room in the world for ideas. If someone on the other side of the planet can make a keyring and sell it on a different continent, then we can make our ideas fly. We must stop thinking about what's stopping us, and start thinking about the things that can set us free. The opportunities and the resources at our disposal are huge. The world is right at our fingertips. Let's have ideas. And let's turn them into something.
I don't have enough ideas, but I'm working on that. I think it's important to put your imagination to work on a daily basis and make an effort to have new ideas all the time. Idea generation is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. Start with one idea a day - it doesn't matter how daft it seems, it's about getting into the practice of it. Then move on to two. Then ten. For every hundred daft ideas there's going to be a good one in there. Before long you'll have a container full.
Then you've just got to figure out where to send them.