“The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.”
— Steven Johnson
Given my love of crossroads and tricksters, it is not surprising that the Spider is one of my favourite totems. He spins out in all directions and connects (sometimes inconveniently) disparate ideas, concepts and objects. Anything and anyone may be drawn into the spider’s web and it all tends to incorporate beautifully into the somewhat chaotic design.
I draw ideas for my art and writing from many different schools of thought. I love finding connections between different mythos and belief systems and love things like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Penny Dreadful that bring together characters from different fictional worlds to see how they may interact.
Sometimes the connections may be tenuous and may fall apart under closer examination. Many spider-webs tend to be fragile and transitory. Similar things happen when I bring together friends from two different areas of my life. Sometimes it works out beautifully and we find commonalities that no one would have guessed existed. Other times it may lead to an afternoon of stilted and forced conversation.
When a new combination of people or ideas or strand of design works tho it is well worth it. It can lead to other connections and before you know it a web network is there. It may be tangled but that can all be worked out later.
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