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No New Ideas

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by scratchyb

I was doodling at a show one day and came up with a sketch that I thought would make a cool pyrography painting. Then my girlfriend bought me a t-shirt on Threadless that had the same elements, same concept and motifs, but different design. It was just close enough to kill my enthusiasm for that particular design, but it got me thinking a little bit about the nature of ideas, the old saying that there are no new ideas. That saying pre-dated the Internet, but what happens now, when we are all basically tied into the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is composed of all of us?

I get my ideas from the outside world, just like we all do, but I also go to great pains to keep from being derivative. I usually let an idea stew for a few months, even if it means potentially missing the opportunity to be a “leader” in a trend and not just another dude on the bandwagon. And why should that matter anyway? How many innovators were overrun by the people who copied and then improved upon their innovation? Truth be told, I’m doing the same thing, as are most of us. But part of staying creative includes realizing this, and making the effort to keep the pool of influence wide enough to avoid clear and obvious influence.

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