If your Creative Muse has nothing to play with - steal great ideas from everywhere.

When Steve Jobs, of Apple, got XEROX, a huge successful corporation focused on copying machines, to let him into their research and development facility PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), he saw the potential for the graphical user interface (GUI - or Goo-EE for the budding computer nerds community) they'd developed. THEY were thinking in terms of a user interface for copiers. Jobs saw it as the one of the two key ingredients to make computers easier and more intuitive to actually use by just about anyone - including kids.

PARC also had developed the Mouse as a computer input device - but again - the application they had in mind for it was focused on XEROX products - copiers. Jobs saw a much better application.

After Apple had become a success, Jobs was asked about his visit to PARC and how that influenced Apple.

Jobs reportedly smiled and said "If you're going to steal ideas - steal from the best".

The point of all that is this.

If you give your Creative Muse lots of good ideas that are already out there, there's a better chance that SHE will put some things together in a creative way and hand it to you.

SO - if you start collecting images of pieces and ideas that appeal to you - and when you've got a bunch - study them and try and identify what makes each appealing - to YOU - you may just see a pattern developing. It may be the type of wood or a grain pattern, the mass of certain pieces, the shape and form - or it could be a technique. And don't limit your image collection to just pictures of turnings - any image that captures your attention may become part of your next Bright Idea.

Parts Diagrams - are a filled with interesting shapes and forms. Fashion magazines are full of eye catching images, as are Photography magazines. We're surrounded by Graphic Arts images - TV, billboards, store signs - all specifically done to capture your attention - and sell you something - often in VERY creative ways.

OH - get a copy of Grays Anatomy - no - not the TV show - the actual anatomy book. It's filled with wonderful illustrations of the human body - interesting shapes in bones and muscles, tendons and organs. Books on plants have pictures of all manner of wonderous shapes and forms and textures and colors. Take a trip to Toys 'R Us and look at a bunch of toys - they've got a lot of nice lines and shapes and forms.

And really have a look at animate things as well - a cat stretching, a horse just standing still, a golden retriever poised, waiting to hear FETCH! Watch a circling hawk, or the little birds on a branch outside your window.

INSECTS! They come in an almost infinite number of shapes - a rhinocerous beetle is full of interesting curves and surfaces. Find a Book Of Bugs!.

And speaking of CURVES - the human female form has plenty of pleasing curves - the French even developed templates for many of those curves - French Curves! Pick up an inexpensive plastic set on your next trip to what used to be called a Stationary Store - replaced by Office Depot and the like.

There are ideas to steal EVERYWHERE!

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