In this guest post by Darya Jandossova Troncoso, we explore the art of inspiration and what it actually means to produce original work. Plus, how to tap into your individual experiences to evoke unique emotions in your audience ■
Inspiration is a weird thing. One moment it’s there, the next it’s gone, leaving you with only intangible traces that are hard to turn into something real. Many creatives are well aware of this feeling—an almost possession-like state when the need to create something is so strong, it’s difficult to ignore it.
Inspiration is a dream-like state that’s difficult to describe in words. It’s as if you’re filled to the brim with this great idea, thought, or vision. It’s all built out in your mind—the structure, the look, the very feel of it. It’s already perfectly shaped in your head, and it’s magical.
The next step is figuring out how to get this perfectly-shaped idea out of your head and into the real world. In some ways, this is one of the biggest challenges of the entire creative process. Inspiration is there, but turning it into reality is a bit different.
Everything is a copy of a copy…
One defining trait of inspiration is that it’s not always yours… As the great Chuck Palahniuk once said, “…everything is a copy, of a copy, of a copy” — (Fight Club). So there you are, this great idea for a short story, a drawing, animation, or a video already formed in your head. Well, most likely, this idea is a combination of everything you’ve ever watched, read, and seen. It’s not quite yours, and it’s not entirely someone else’s either. The elements are borrowed from your memories, your feelings, and various visuals. The question is now, “is it original?”
The answer is relatively simple, and it has two parts that matter. First — no, nothing you create is completely original. But the second part of this answer is that it doesn’t matter as much as you might think. We don’t create art for the sake of originality. Everything is bound to be repeated in some shape or form and that’s completely okay.
What does your work make people feel?
If you, as an artist, aim to produce something that the world has never seen before , it’s a hefty pursuit. It might not be quite achievable if you’re looking at it from a specific point of view, the point being to create something truly original.
The most important question to ask yourself is, “Will the artwork I produce evoke an original feeling in the viewer?” In reality, this is quite important to consider. If the answer is yes, then the art you create will make the viewer/listener/reader feel something different from what they’ve felt and read before, and yes, what you’ve created is original.
Originality comes from your own unique experience
You can’t deconstruct everything that you produce. That’s not how inspiration works. Sure, you can break down the elements, but the combination of these elements doesn’t make up the whole picture. In essence, the real originality of your work comes from your own unique experience—no one else’s. It comes from your heart, your head, bits of your day, memories from last summer, a scene from your favorite movie, the boy you fell in love with when you were twelve, etc.
If you create something, and the piece is a combination of ten different things, it’s bound to be original. Some elements will be similar to other people’s artwork, like the medium you used, the technique, the style. Yet something about it will be genuinely original because it was created by you, not by anyone else. In a nutshell, originality comes from you as a unique human being.
If you notice certain elements overlapping with someone else’s art, take a step back and ask yourself, what are these elements? Is it the color or the theme? The medium or the technique? What are the similarities? Remember, there are only so many ways to create art. The point is, you don’t have to chase after originality. Artwork can be produced in hundreds of different ways, and the feelings evoked by each individual piece are unique depending on the viewer who’s response would be‚for lack of a better word—original.
You are already original.
So, the next time you begin working on a piece of art, the idea formed in your head and ready to transcend your mind, it’s important to pause and think. Remember the most important question to consider is, what are you trying to convey here?
Your biggest concern is probably not to create something that’s super unique. What you’re truly after is getting the idea out of your head and into reality. That’s where the true originality starts. The synapses are firing in your brain as you pick up your brush, pencil, or stylus. Your idea is manifesting itself right then and there—a beautiful, unique, amazing idea of yours. It’s already original because You. Are. Original ■
About the author: Darya Jandossova Troncoso is a photographer, artist, and writer working on her first novel and managing two digital marketing blogs—MarketTap and MarketSplash. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and creating art.
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