Where the best creative insights are often hidden

Before you now is the constant opportunity to explore the details of everything. It’s in the tiniest details that often new creative ideas are hidden, waiting to be discovered.

Look at the words on this page, for example. Not just the meaning of the words, but the actual words, made up of clusters of letters and the spaces between letters. Now look at the details of those words themselves, the lines and curves. What about the details of the lines and curves? Can you imagine – or, in some cases, actually see – the pixels that make up the lines of each letter? The details go even further than that: there is glass and plastic, a ray of light, and a number of other elements behind each pixel.

In anything around you there are an almost infinite level of details to explore. Not only in the physical sense, but in the story behind the objects too.

Behind the glass and plastic and light and electronics that make up the screen you’re reading these very words on there was once a machine assembling each piece. Somebody had to envision how the pieces would all come together and program the machine to make the process work. And that machine had to be made by someone else. And all of the minute pieces in the machine had to be made somewhere by someone too, and on and on and on.

When you see a work of art that captures your eye, the initial aesthetic look of the artwork may be appealing, but when you look closer you can see the minute details that make the work of art… art!

It’s these details that you can almost feel when you see something that has been hand-made, compared to something made in a factory by a machine. The hand-made work always has a certain feeling to it that many people can’t quite put their hands on. It feels more authentic because of the details, the smallest of errors, the tiniest attention to definition.

Look at anything around you right now and take a minute to explore it’s details. What are the smallest pieces of it, and what makes up those pieces? How does even the smallest element of an object affect it’s larger form?

Whatever you’re working on today, look at the details that make it up. Imagine how a change at any level of detail would affect the result. And if you’re stuck on a problem or can’t find the right inspiration to move an idea forward, explore the details and see what comes out of the hidden crevices.

It’s in the details that some of the best insights are hidden.

Photo by Chris Lott.