Nothing is original.
That’s an overused cliché in the marketing industry, but it rings true. The design world is crazy. Well, the whole world is out of control, but art is a clear reflection of that. Creativity is taking entirely new forms in spaces NO ONE could have predicted a decade ago (see: NFTs, Augmented Reality, etc). Artificial intelligence can conjure up wholly unique works of art faster than it took you to read this sentence. Your iPhone has the power of 120,000,000 Apollo-era spacecraft.
At any rate, it’s fair to say the future of creativity is a little awkward…but brimming with potential. An unexpected pathway is emerging from technology within the marketing industry—one where we must evolve with our work, combine mediums, explore new styles and create something in the spaces between the greatness of old (however small they might be).
All that said, we think it’s time we rebrand the phrase “nothing is original.” People are creating an infinite amount of badassery every minute of every day. How can you create something that stands out in this ocean of talent and output? We have a silly answer…
“Your face is original”
Quoth our infamous Chief Creative Officer. That may be a joke, but there’s a lining of truth behind it, especially when it comes to your creative potential and how you can break through the infinite wall of sameness.
Your originality doesn’t lie in your work. It is you.
You are original, with unique experiences and a voice that is completely your own. A picture is worth a thousand words, so put your words into your creations. Even when creating something for someone else (like one of our badass clients), no one else would create something exactly the same way as you—or even if they did, they would have approached it from a perspective or mindset. Don’t put yourself in a box before you even start! It’s hard to succeed with a limited mindset, so don’t let your art suffer.
Creating something unique is hard work, but remember: you’ve got a bunch of fancy toys at your fingertips (ew)—ones that could have gotten the Apollo 11 crew to the moon and back millions of times. If you catch yourself caught stunned by fear of creative unoriginality, remind yourself:
- No one is 100% exactly like me
- No one creates 100% the same way as me
- My story, my eyes, my mind and my skills are important
Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice we haven’t told you our real substitute phrase for “nothing is original.” Although we hope you’ll admit that we’ve skillfully skirted around it to make a point.
Anyway, here it is:
For many creative minds, breaking through “it’s been done before” is no simple task. Every creator reaches that block at some point and most who do certainly will again. Whether it’s while finalizing and exporting, early concepting, or before we start the project, that quiet voice in the back of our mind introduces doubt that slows us down.
Silence that voice. Embrace the process. Simply enjoy the fact that you created something and that you’re going to share it with the world. When you do, you’ll realize that “originality” was never your problem.
At TJA, we’re constantly preaching “the process”: the method behind our agency madness that gets the juices flowing and the jobs done right. Within that process is finding inspiration in places we wouldn’t normally expect. We keep our creative eyes open at all times, looking for the next thing that might spark an epic client creation. We encourage everyone—yes, even you—to discover the creativity that appears around them. The brands we touch, the words we hear and the stories we pass on.
All it takes is one glance at something unexpected. Who knows? That thing you’re looking at right now could be the catalyst to the “originality” you’ve been searching for.
p.s. If it is, we can’t wait to see it.
* * *