Virgil Abloh told i-D Magazine in 2015 that he came up with 30 ideas a day. Just for fun, here’s an example of what one of them looked like:
Source: Off-White Imaginary TV on Instagram.
If you’re like me, 30 ideas will take you two hours—so I decided to start with a more modest 10.
You can write down or draw out any idea you like. If your interest is in architecture or interior design and you want to design a house, drawing it out counts as an idea. Even if you consider yourself a writer, and you have an idea for an app, write it down. That counts. If your friend has told you that the two of you should throw a party, write it down. You can use an existing reference and circle design elements you would have decided to change. You can write down a one-sentence response to something you read. What was the most interesting thing you read yesterday? What can’t you not stop thinking about? What was the coolest thing you saw yesterday? What was the most interesting thing you heard about? What is a different version of something you just made? Can you remix one of the things you saw, heard, or learned yesterday?
Write it down!
An idea can appear in point form, it can be a drawing, it can be one line, your eyes may be open or they may be closed. And you can apply whatever constraint you like to these ideas.
You may be surprised at how many ideas are forming or present in your mind all the time. Here’s an example of what one day’s ideas looked like for me, exactly as I wrote them (Canadian spellings included):
It’s messy, practically in scribbles, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Seriously, you can write these ideas down wherever you like—in a napkin, on your hand, in your notebook, in a spreadsheet. I like to write mine down in my phone, or whatever pen and paper I can find, and keep track of them in Airtable, so I can search them up later. I sort them by reverse chronological order, and whenever I think of an old idea, I find it, add to it, and move it back up to the top.
You don’t need to work on these ideas right away. It’s tempting to get swept away by the chaos of inspiration, and haphazardly throw new routines and processes into the mix, but it’s important, even with new ideas, to know why you’re trying something new. Coming up with new ideas won’t matter if you’re not able to bring any of them into reality. You may find you need to write the ideas down and save them for later in order for you to truly focus on verifying one and bringing it to life.