Both Wild
Analogical thinking or linking is a great way to stimulate ideas. It's all about finding evident or hidden relationships and/or similarities between things, which, at first glance, might appear dissimilar. This can be done systematically or intuitively. 

One of my favourites gurus in the area of creative problem solving is William J.J. Gordon, the  author of “Synectics” (1961, New York: Collier). According to Gordon, much creativity depends on metaphor, which he breaks down into four categories.  In a nutshell:

Direct Analogy: 

Seek out relationships or similarities of shape, colour, texture, size, function, taste, sound, material and more. Ask questions! What does this shape or colour remind me of?  What else does it look like?  (A pen is like a telephone pole, vertical, hard and thin.) 

Symbolic Analogy: 

Relate the problem to images, symbols, myths, legends, comic books, heroes, celebrities to shed light on new possibilities. (How would Lady Godiva solve this problem?) 

Personal Analogy: 

Identify with one element in a problem and pretend you are it!  I am a pumpkin, let me to tell you about myself. (I'm a bit overweight and like to lie around in fields with my brothers and sisters). 

Fantasy Analogy: 

Visualize an ideal and daydream to magically solve a problem.  What is the perfect apple like? (Never rots, worms don't want to eat it, no blemishes).

The purpose of this particular technique is to find as many associations as possible, to get the mind thinking laterally rather than in a linear, deductive fashion.
Years ago, I glanced through the local paper and came across a photograph of a very imposing rooster. I was mesmerized by his expression, colour, and the texture of his feathers.  I began making associations. The cock looked grumpy, judgmental, disappointed. His authoritarian posture was regal reinforced by his crown-like, Mohawk comb. He reminded me of a king (of the castle?) or a disapproving parent.

More historical associations followed as I reminisced about Radisson and Des Groseillers, a TV program that I used to watch when I was a kid about a pair of legendary Quebec "courreurs de bois ". The first time I saw a Mohawk haircut was in this series. I drifted into symbolic analogy mode. 

I decided to make a two paneled horizontal painting with the rooster on the right and the offspring on the left. I opted for a punk baby dressed in black. He holds a pacifier, also black.  This is generally an unlikely colour choice for baby clothes or a sucking gizmo. The baby's ear is pierced with a safely pin (so much for the diaper!), and his arm is tattooed.  Spurs protrude from pointy boots! Suggested egg shapes vaguely envelope the duo; they are different yet the sameBoth have attitude. 

With an air of reproach, the rooster scrutinizes his heir, oblivious to to the fact that his personal attributes are blatantly reflected in his progeny. 

Visual metaphors are powerful.  My favourite definition is this one:  "A visual metaphor is a device for encouraging insights, a tool to think with. . . .