Does anyone even care if things are original any more?
In trying to figure out how exactly to define the term "original" I found myself looking for the key component that makes art what it is. Is it the inspiration source, the concept, the actual drawing or first recreation? Can you mass produce it, project it? Art could be considered original when it's the first physical form of an idea the artist had and illustrated, be it through music, color or design.
For visual art, would you agree that art is original when the picture, down to the first sketch, no matter the media used to create it was created by the artist originally? I certainly like art that comes from artists who get their own ideas and interpret them on their own. But some say that Picasso said "Good artists copy, great artists steal."
I think it's important to be creative, and I know that all ideas are recycled, mutated and passed around. I believe if an idea visits you and you don't bring it to fruition, it will move on to someone somewhere else. For that reason I feel a responsibility with each idea, even the ones that other people give me and ask me to use.
I guess that when I see another person doing an idea I had or saw but didn't do, I'm glad. But if I see someone doing something that someone else is already doing really well, it's annoying. I think that's what I mean about the importance of being original. It's not that you need to be your own source of inspiration to the deepest core in order not to be a copy cat- but that you should bring something original that no one else brings. To your art. To Everything you do.
I have already discovered that there is not enough time for all the ideas, probably not even if everyone got together to work on the very best ones. Perhaps if we gave up working on all the bad ideas we would have enough time to make all the variations on recycled tea kettle koozies and garden roofs, board games, screen prints, Halloween costumes, mom presents, infrastructures, permacultures and we'd save the world.
I think that if we at least aim to be original in what we say and do, we can make a big difference in the long run.
But that could be too lofty a goal.
Tell me your thoughts!