I wanted to switch gears this week and expound (with perhaps a dash of digression) on the topic of originality, which Ben Van Dyke brought up Thursday. I liked what he said about the topic, but I wanted to just dribble off a few nuggets of mine own the subject.
This is something I have considered much, especially in the past few years. I liked that he touched on the topic, but I wanted to add my thoughts to the matter in a bit more detail. Somewhere in the distant past, my past that is, I got the notion into my head that everything I saw was original (I know, kinda adds a new level of naïveté to the definition of the word). I have come to understand what utter horse…manure that is. I won’t say nothing is original, but I have come to be suspicious of anything being original or any artist claiming their work is the same (I should probably append this point to say it involves commercial more than fine art because that is where my interest generally lies).
Back to the point on hand, what I see is some people omitting to mention the degree to which they have taken one or more sources and culled ideas from those sources to create their work. I think this is often done to propagate some type of mystique around the creation of their art. I realize there are other reasons, but I don’t want to drag this post out to 700 words or more. What I will say is that I am indebted to the artist who allows us to peek around the veil of creation and draw inspiration if not from their work, then from knowledge of their processes. I know I gain a great deal of inspiration and validation in knowing that even the best of creators take from sources that once revealed appears obvious. I am also happy for the fact that this sharing of one’s processes is growing, thanks to the Internet.
I found this series on youtube offering a look into various artists moleskins. While not necessarily showing a specific project in progress, it nevertheless ( or more) gives a look at the rough stuff. There are many others in the playlist so have a look around.