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Creative quotes and quotations
On Connections...


A simple way of creating new things is to bump two existing things together. In fact a very large number of inventions and ideas are generated this way. Sometimes the new idea will be a combination of the two and sometimes the bumping-together sparks a completely different thought.

See also

challenge, contradiction, copying*, ideas, imagination, openness, questions, rearrangement*


‘It takes two flints to make a fire.’

Louisa May Alcott

‘Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street.’

William Blake

‘If a new result is to have any value, it must unite elements long since known, but till then scattered and seemingly foreign to each other, and suddenly introduce order where the appearance of disorder reigned.’

Wilfred Bion

‘A man becomes creative, whether he is an artist or scientist, when he finds a new unity in the variety of nature. He does so by finding a likeness between things which were not thought alike before.’

Jacob Bronowski

‘To develop a complete mind, study the science of art, study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.’

Leonardo Da Vinci

‘This combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.’

Albert Einstein

‘1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies harmony.’

Albert Einstein (his three rules of work)

‘The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.’


‘I invented nothing new. I simply combined the inventions of others into a car. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed.’

Henry Ford

‘An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor.’

Robert Frost

‘Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.’

Oliver Wendell Holmes

‘Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences than other people.’

Steve Jobs

Innovation is usually the result of connections of past experiences. But if you have the same experiences as everyone else, you are unlikely to look in a different direction.’

Steve Jobs

‘Creativity does not derive from order but from the attempt to impose order where it does not exist, to make new connections.’

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

‘I waited for the idea to consolidate, for the grouping and composition of themes to settle themselves in my brain.’

Claude Monet

‘It is the power of creative men to perceive the relations between thoughts, or things, or forms of expression that may seem utterly different, and to be able to combine them into some new forms--the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.’

William Plomer

‘When solutions depend on connections yet to be made, logic must fail.’

George Prince

Invention, strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory; nothing can come of nothing.’

Joshua Reynolds

‘Nothing can be made of nothing; those who have laid up no material can produce no combination.’

Joshua Reynolds

‘The ability to relate and to connect, sometimes in an odd and yet striking fashion, lies at the very heart of any creative use of the mind, no matter in what field or discipline.’

George J. Seidel

‘Regarded in isolation, an idea may be quite insignificant, and venturesome in the extreme, but it may acquire importance from an idea which follows it; perhaps, in a certain collocation with other ideas, which may seem equally absurd, it may be capable of furnishing a very serviceable link.’

Friedrich von Schiller

‘It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘The mystery of creation was always between two, in an awareness that there was always both a ‘thou’and and ‘I’.’

Laurens van der Post

‘We must beware of what I call ‘inert ideas’– ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilized, or tested, or thrown into fresh new combinations.’

Alfred North Whitehead



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