Where do ideas come from?

I always said inspiration is for amateurs–the rest of us just show up and get to work. Every great idea came out of work.
— Chuck Close, artist

What if our ideas are not new and original, but really just bubble up from our collective human memory? It's as if all the possibilities humanity's revelations are stored in the clouds and recycled by each generation. Each culture simply uses what is most relevant and timely to that age. Some people surprise us when they pull down inspiration that feels not of-this-time. We freak out and are amazed asking, "how did they think of that?" 

Another thought... what if ideas congeal in our feet first, making their way up our legs, torso and finally pop out in our heads? 

Inspiration is a little sucker punch to the brain. It’s a slap in the face. It’s a punch to the gut. It’s a waking up. It’s realizing the world has more majesty and mystery than your stupid little brain ever knew.
— Lulu Miller, co-host of Invisibilia

Filmmaker Andrew Norton explores the idea of ideas - where they come from; how they form; and the differences between inspiration and ideas. In his short Where Do Ideas Come From? it's clear that the "aha" moment and the activities leading up to it take many forms. The film employs visuals and text to emphasize the voice-overs of creatives like artist Chuck Close and director David Lynch.

Whenever I finish a story, I go through a period of time where I feel like I will never again have an idea.
— Susan Orlean, author