According to Lemaître’s Big Bang Theory, the universe originated from a single point 13.7 billion years ago.
Since the Big Bang, all acts of creation have been derivative. Everything that has been created or will be created contains the components from that original event.
Ideas fit the same model. All forms of creativity build upon the ideas of other people, whether historic or contemporary. Great new ideas result from combining existing ideas into new forms. To enhance your own creativity, you need to expose yourself to the ideas of other creative thinkers.
When you approach a new design challenge, your solution will be pulled from your knowledge and experience. When those experiences are broader and deeper, you are able to blend them together in more innovative ways.
Studying the work of the most creative people in your own industry is only a baseline. It’s also important to understand trends in related fields. For example, a photographer could benefit from understanding graphic design or fashion. Knowledge that seems unrelated is also useful and interesting. Perhaps the mechanics of the eye of a fruit fly will lead to entirely new approach to image capture.
To expand your creativity, begin by expanding your intellectual curiosity.
Illustration of big bang from Science on MSNBC.com