Without imagination we’d still be in… caves. So we have quite a lot to be thankful for.
As I see it, imagination is the phenomenon in which new thoughts are generated in sequence, one fostering the next. I find it quite fascinating.
What makes it work? I don’t know. I think it simply happens. And I enjoy it quite a bit, most of the time, that is. I say most of the time because sometimes it can get overwhelming. The non-stop “imagining things” makes it a challenge to stop and finish things. When a new thought crystallizes into a defined idea, good enough for you to stop for a bit and consider exploring it, it’s pretty cool. So you start thinking about it some more, and start working on it, in your mind at first, then on paper, and so on, depending on the nature of the idea. But to be able to work properly on one idea, you need to be able to control your imagination, so it doesn’t hinder your work in progress, deter you from the path you engaged yourself on to pursue that particular idea.
Like a painter who has multiple canvases underway, working on a few at a time, or all at once. Completely dependant on its imagination, leading the way to an end to each idea…. hopefully.
For a sculptor, it can be different. At least when sculpting material that cannot be “fixed”, such as stone. You stare at your piece, and imagine what it could become. You start chipping away, following whatever idea comes to mind as to where you should put your chisel and how much force you should hit it…