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Creative Inspiration: Gifts from the sea

Where do you go for creative inspiration? For me, one place is the sea. It offers extraordinary details if you’re patient and curious enough to let them wash over you. The sea reminds me that the most beautiful forms are the most simple and direct. Too often, we complicate things by seeking out lofty solutions. Most of the time, the answer is sitting right there just waiting to be noticed.


“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious,
too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—
waiting for a gift from the sea.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Mushrooms + Ideas: The Quiet Thrill of the Hunt


Taking a break from brainstorming on a new project, I drive to the coast on an unusually warm, sunny October day. I should sit at my computer and meander down the various paths of discovery to solve this design problem. But this is a day to be seized, and one with a different path to meander.

Mushroom hunting, like idea hunting, requires a kind of intuitive search. You don’t know exactly where to look or what you’ll find when you get there, wherever there is. A little more certainty exists in the end result with mushrooms than with creative concepts. Or at least there should be, especially if you plan to eat what you find. Guide books help you identify the unique features of each type of mushroom. Even so, there can still be a shred of doubt, perhaps necessary for self-preservation, as you contemplate a meal using your wild forage. But even with ideas, there is the ah-ha moment, that sense that you’ve stumbled onto just the thing you didn’t know you were looking for. There’s a rightness, as if the solution were under your foot the whole time.

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