“Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
It’s not about hiding sources, it’s about having them. In the past, I thought I could only look at the blank pages in my notebook for ideas. However, I’m spending my days at work with extremely talented people, and they all have amazing mental libraries of work that they think about constantly.
It’s not that they copy other ideas. They have them as reference. That’s a big part of what I’ve been missing.
Now, I have a secondary goal to my creative work: Gain more references. This doesn’t have to be typography in a design book. It might be dresses by the best couturiers, or images conjured up in my mind while reading fiction novels. Who knows. The point is to have things to think about and use them to create something new.