(Credit: Manchester International Festival)


David Lynch explains where he gets his ideas from

The source of inspiration for artistic efforts has always perplexed artists.

Writers of the Romantic Age believed that the poet was a passive vessel meant to echo the truths of the universe. Although the philosophy of art has experienced tectonic shifts since then, it is interesting to note how some facets of the ideological legacy of the Romantic Period is still present in contemporary artists. American filmmaker, David Lynch, revered throughout the world of cinema for his truly unique artistic vision and his nightmarish films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, believes that “an idea comes and you see it and you hear it and you know it.”

Elaborating on the ideas in his 2006 book, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity, Lynch compares the process of artistic innovation to finishing. According to Lynch’s analogy, the desire to possess an idea is like a bait on a hook. He says, “If you catch an idea that you love, it is a beautiful, beautiful day.” These small ideas that one “catches” are fragments. The artistic process constitutes of building on these fragments and arranging them appropriately so that the form the bigger picture.

“In the other room, the puzzle is all together but they keep flipping it one piece at a time”, Lynch remarks. When asked where this ‘other room’ is, he points to blank space and nonchalantly replies, “Over there”. That witty exchange speaks volumes about the mysteries of artistic inspiration.

Watch the interview here: