Visualize for me a large spice rack. Instead of contains of dried ingredients and each jar has the essence of an idea. For convenience purposes we’ll say that each essence is represented by a jar of bee-sized pixies, mini-muses each with their own agenda. Some of them you will know quite well and others you’ve only glimpsed. This is my imagination, my creative spice rack.
When I start a project, be it writing or my pixel art, I sprinkle here and there from the selections available. With each movie, book, TV show, or random bit of exposure I experience the jars shift and change. Some grow while other shrink and a few even merge. Every idea I have goes in a jar on a shelf in the back of my mind. I have my favorites that I like to spice stories with. There are times where I find the sliver of an idea and pursue it only to find it’s connected to something I’ve found before. Sensory input spawns mini muses who in turn add depth to my projects. Most of the time, it’s a conscious effort; directing the nerve firings like flecks of food in a fish bowl. Other times, not so much.
There are certain jars that I’ve never used due to lack of depth. Not enough muses flickering around inside to produce a bright enough spark. These poor little things are forgotten about and rarely rediscovered. Being ever resourceful my brain has come up with a couple of ways to deal with these leftovers. The first way is to simply let them stand and collect dust, eventually waiting for some day when I’ll need them. The second is for these the little bottled muses to turn cannibal. That’s right; those pretty little mini muses tear into each other with a subtle warfare that would make the Drow proud.
I return to the spice rack every so often and find the jars are scattered and rearranged. My mini muses have been hard at work, expanding, exploring, and making connections. The empty jars are reused for other ideas but these new stronger muses get moved to the forefront and reexamined.