Before Nicéphore Niépce devised the revolutionary process, ‘photography’; before a ‘Mona Lisa’ was painted and set on frame; before the Oscar-winning ‘Titanic’ movie was conceptualized and directed; before Christian Louboutin came up with his signature designs for the coveted stilettos or before Matt Groening created the ‘Simpsons’; everything perhaps was sparked off with a small thought or to put precisely, ‘an idea’. Ideas have influenced and shaped the course of our history, however small or big an occurrence has been, it’s always been triggered with ideas. Ideas are just the rearrangement of already available elements and resources; but the positioning and alignment of these elements is what plays the critical role!

How important are ideas for people in the creative field?

When we talk about the creative field, it could mean a whole gamut of the imaginative & artistic space, like a painting, a fashion theme, a movie script, a song composition and so much more. Creative people live off the ideas; they breathe, eat, and sleep ideas!

 Ideation is the process of conceiving a thought, thread or an idea that can be further developed to shape concepts that can work. Having said this, it is important to know the subtle difference between art & design to understand how ideas and development of it mean different things to artists & designers. While art is the science of communicating the power of design with highest aesthetic value coupled with emotional connect between the artist and the audience; design simply refers to logically arranging the creative ideas so they can be purposed. Overtly communicating the message behind the design to the end user and leaving very little room for interpretation is the main intention of a designer, so the ideas with which the designer works need to be foolproof; but for an artist, his presentation of a work of art is majorly self-expression, where he puts in his thoughts, views, beliefs and ideas into his art piece without looking for an approval. 

Although thousands of ideas hit the minds of creative people every day, only few see the light of the day; the reason could be that only a few ideas can be developed and put to use, whereas others die an inorganic growth because of the lack of practicality and maybe inaptness for the current market trends. In terms of the fashion industry, fashion designers in this sense are artists too! A fashion designer gives the ideas which he believes in- a form through his designs and communicates it to the world under his fashion labels.

How do ideas happen?

Ideas can happen to anyone, anywhere! Good ideas strike us when we least expect them, but only a few work on it and take it to the next level. Paul Smith, the very well known British fashion designer and businessman, says it is critical for a creative person to be very observant, inquisitive, and thoughtful all the time. A small example he quotes for this from his own experience, where once he was waiting in an airport, he decided to take a walk and look around, rather than getting hooked to the headphones. To his surprise, he found a very artistically carved little stone which had fallen off from a bracelet. This inspired him to create a range of signature buttons for his clothesline! So, it is important to keep the eyes wide open to the things around us every time, as inspiration can be from anything under the sun and what inspires each person is very subjective. For instance,  when we look at the variety of sleeves fashion designers have come up with, a Batwing sleeve – inspired by the shape of the wings of a bat; Poet sleeve – inspired by the look of the poets from the 18th century; Petal sleeve – inspired by the petals of many different kinds of flower petals; French sleeve – inspired by the dressing sense of the Frenchmen; Juliet sleeve – inspired by the fashions of Italian renaissance, and one of Shakespeare’s heroines ‘Juliet’; Lantern sleeve – inspired by the lantern lamp; Bishop sleeve – inspired by bishop’s robe; the list can just continues, we know how inspiration occupies a prominent place in art & design. Every piece of fashion, including footwear, handbags, jewellery, hats, belts, skirts, jeans, trousers, etc and detailing like the neckline, collar styles, and everything is an inspired art. No doubt, we call it the art of ideating! 

So, what is the art of ideation?

It is so rightly said, ‘It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen’. At the end of the day, ideas need to work and something should come of it, but what is that ‘something’ is again subjective. Few might work on an idea only for creative satisfaction; others work on it as a profession. There can be nothing like ‘original’ ideas, as everything, we feel, is inspired; we can hence say there should be a rearrangement or combination of elements in a new or fresh way. For a person who is professionally involved in the creative industry should, in the first place know the purpose of conceptualizing and developing an idea, i.e. what is he trying to achieve with his idea, is it for his creative-self, for a client, or to showcase his talent to the world etc. The next thing will be to know how he is going to measure success, is it through monetary growth, or getting recognition in the industry he is working in, and so forth. Getting to know one’s competitors is equally important, to know how they think and execute their ideas. 

Technology has impacted our lives like never before. Exploring and making the best out of the technological advancements for generating ideas and developing them is for sure the way ahead. As an illustration, user-friendly software for generating fashion designing ideas and giving it a final shape through one’s imagination are available for both amateurs and professionals, such as Digital Fashion Pro, Cameo V5, Kaledo by Lectra, Ned Graphics Fashion Design, Edraw Max & much more such options. 

The most important thing for ideas to work is to believe in them and only then the world will believe in your ideas. We can safely say that ideas are not the chattels of any one person, some people are born creative, and some acquire it in the course of time; trying and working towards it is the key. 

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