Originality vs. Art

Master_Nick-RobertsMazhiqueYou have the urge to create something. Perhaps you’ve even made progress toward your goal.

Then disaster strikes! You’re reminded that you’ve encountered something similar before! Your work isn’t so original as you’d thought! It’s derivative! That’s what the critics will say! Derivative!

How to proceed from there? Should you even try?

When I find myself worrying about originality, two sayings come to mind.
Nothing is created in a vacuum.
We all draw from the same well.
I didn’t come up with either of those expressions, but I thankfully incorporate them into my own world.

Still worried?
Remember that your artistic predecessors are a large part of why you wanted to create in the first place!

If you’ll indulge this particular brand of geekdom, there’s a relavent bit in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data belittles his own violin performance, thinking that there’s nothing creative about it, as he’s duplicated aspects of two or three other performers’ renditions. Captain Picard points out that Data selected those other versions out of countless possible choices. Those musicians had radically different styles, yet Data wove them together seamlessly.

‘Tis true that a plagiarist precisely duplicates the work of some singular other, but we the artists are influenced by various aspects of life itself including the works of numerous creative minds. We gather the elements that speak to us, those that arouse, scare and inspire us, and recombine them in our own particular ways.

You don’t need to invent the universe. That bit has been done already. Your job is to do the best you can with what comes your way, and if you’re especially studious, you’ll explore beyond your comfort zone, seeking out even more threads to interweave into an even richer tapestry next time.

Don’t let the critical voices within or without stop your art. Derive away!

Master Nick Roberts © 2013

Pictured above:
“Mazhique” (inspired by the Clive Barker novel “Weaveworld”)
9″ x 12″ Acrylic
Painting and Prints available.
If collector, connoisseur,
or a patron you may be,
if this art you would procure,
to begin, please contact me.
Master Nick Roberts


Tune in for more of the beautiful and bizarre from
Master Nick Roberts!
Read “Gonzombie and Other Dark Tales” (inspired in part by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, George Romero and Hunter Thompson!) http://tinyurl.com/gonzombie
Catch updates on exhibitions, publications, and more! http://www.facebook.com/TheArtOfMasterNick

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