“The way you become original is through imitation to some degree. When starting out as a creator, your work is likely going to largely reflect the ideas of your influences. That’s how you find your voice. The more you make things, the more your voice will become a collection of those influences and start to feel unique. … When that happens, you’ll rely less on the inputs you’re getting from your influences and more on your own original thoughts.”
Going through art school, I became acutely aware of this idea.
In almost every class I took, we were learning through copying someone else’s work. We copied masters, we copied amateurs, we copied random Google Image searches. This was how we learned.
With each copy I did, I slowly started to see my own hand shine through. It was no longer just a copy, but a great idea that I started to shape into my own great idea.
This week, Justine and I discuss the paradox of originality. Does originality truly exist or are we all just really good copycats?
Listen to the Episode
What We Talked About
Is there such a thing as a truly original thought?
“Every idea is a juxtaposition. That’s it. A juxtaposition of existing concepts.” —Steven Grant