How Can You Be Original?
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Every individual in the pursuit of creativity strives to hear their work described as "original."
However, is it really possible to create something that is completely original?
The creative process often works at a subconscious level. A client meeting, or in case of a wedding designer, a venue or even a client's taste or choices can trigger the memory of a cafe, a space, or even a poster the designer has seen somewhere before and this can trickle down into their design without them even knowing about it.
Most creators often fall in the trap of one of the dreaded associates of un-originality.
The Conformists: the ones that go through the sea of design content available and use this overflow of inspiration, templates, DIY's and tutorials to reuse an idea from someone else, rather than solve the problem themselves.
While some that escape this trap are often caught by the other,
The Differing: the ones who always try to be different, but only for the sake of being different, this is often a reaction to not wanting to conform, however it only leads to redoing the existing over and over without really considering if it is adding any value to the final experience of their design.
So the question remains- Currently in a world, where a constant visual overload is the reality and consistent unique creations a necessity, is originality really impossible?
Well, I don't think so.
In my understanding and experience, the seemingly impossible quest of creating something original is always possible to achieve when you take the first correct step towards it. And this all important step is - Intentionality.
"Intentional design is a process which consciously focuses on the needs and wants of the person you want to serve, a process in which the consumer's interactions with the final design are considered at each point of the design process."
So my answer to how you can be original would be:
While it may seem that on a subconscious level it is almost impossible to be completely original in design, as your design ideas will always be a product of whatever you have absorbed from your past and present surroundings, however, the place where one can be completely original, is in the concept behind the design.
When your creation is backed by an intention or what I call a purposeful concept, when every tiny detail is intentional and in place for a reason, when each design thought is arising from the story of that concept and each action is the means to create visuals to convey that concept, you generally end up creating something that is new, original and custom-made.
And because each design detail in your creative masterpiece is there for a specific reason, your creation neither ends up being something that is different just for the sake of being different, nor does it look or feel unoriginal. Even if some idea that has subconsciously trickled looks inspired from an existing work, it would never be executed or made to be a part of your design unless your re-create it into a significant and purposeful addition to the story you are trying to weave!
So, here's to conquering the Impossibility of Originality!
Please Note: This blog post is just a culmination of my ideas, learnings and also a lot of information available on the internet! I would love to hear your thoughts, learnings and ideas on the same, so please do leave your comments, feedback and requests!