David Lynch is nothing if not wildly creative, as seen in the haunting imagery of something like Eraserhead, the haunting imagery of something like Twin Peaks, or even the haunting imagery of the little doodles he might draw while talking on the phone, but how does he come up with that stuff? In 2008, The Atlantic sat down with Lynch and talked to him about creativity, and now it has turned his words into a charming animated short that visualizes his thoughts in an appropriately creative way. The whole thing is based around where ideas come from, with Lynch comparing the act of creating something to catching a fish. “They’re ready to be caught,” he says, you just have to be open to finding them and “be true to the idea.”
Lynch also tackles the notion that great art comes from suffering, which he doesn’t think is true. He says “any kind of suffering cramps the flow of creativity,” and that if Van Gogh had diarrhea every time he tried to paint, he’d have to be “really crazy” to actually do it. So, yeah, even David Lynch’s advice about how to come up with ideas takes a weird turn.