He certainly had to have confidence in his vision. Look at the individual elements: some of them are original, some patently ridiculous, some totally cliche, but the overall effect is unique.
Sometimes artists seek to explore particular aspects of a form. Chihuly's bowl series utilizes every color available to him (over 200) within similar forms. The combinations of color and pattern make each bowl, though similar in shape, a unique work of art.
There are times when an artist completely changes direction, as Chihuly did with his Indian basket series. The shapes of the bowls no longer reflected nature, but mimicked the time-ravaged reed baskets he collected. These changes may disappoint outsiders, but are absolutely essential to the growth of the artist.
Sometimes darkness surrounds an artist, and the art is the only light available. Often that art is part and parcel of the darkness, but, sometimes, it outlines the artist's path to sunshine.
So, where does creativity come from? I'm not sure there's any particular source. I think it's an attempt to create a synthesizing artifact of thoughtful engagement of the artist with his or her journey.
So, how does that apply to me? I've never really considered myself an artist, but I think I may be ready to change that. I've spent a lifetime finding meaning in the music, writing, and artwork of others, but I think I'm ready to create original artifacts of my own journey. What form they will take, I could not say. But I'm anxious to start.
How about you? How are you documenting your own personal journey?