Are There Any Original Creative Ideas Left?
Feeling the pressure of creating something completely unique and special in every way? Well now…you can’t.
You know, and I know, that civilisation has been around for a while now. Which means that many people have done shit before you’ve done shit.
Chances are, your original creative ideas that you’re thinking about creating today, have been done before.
So pressure’s off for now, no need to think of the next new idea. Let’s just take some time out to read the pearls of wisdom to come.
So here they are:
There are no more original creative ideas.
What a sweeping statement I just made. How to illustrate?
Quentin Tarantino, the center of controversy when it comes to originality.
Because he’s stolen from every single movie ever made.
Tarantino has openly admitted to taking shots from other movies and copying them. But he’s still an inspiration for many out there.
The great interweb has led me to this CHAMPION edit that showcases all of Kill Bill’s references.
Everything Is A Remix: Kill Bill
So why? Why is Tarantino hailed as one of the greatest filmmakers of our generation (well I hail, I don’t know if you hail) when he’s admitted to stealing?
It’s because he’s taken everything he’s ever watched, everything he’s been inspired by and stitched them together to make something completely new, something that’s his, something that’s tarantinoesque (this is legit a word in the Oxford dictionary).
So let’s go back to what I said earlier – many people have done shit before you’ve done shit.
A great many things have been done even before you or I ever came into existence. We are all part of the culture that has been created by those who have come before us.
When we produce a piece of work, it’s a culmination of everything we’ve experienced, what we’ve watched on tv, the music we listen to, the artwork we see on instagram, the people we watch on the street, whatever.
A lot of my work (I should mention that I’m a video editor) is reminiscent of things that I’ve seen or heard or experienced. The most obvious of which, I guess, might be the montage below, inspired by the movie Sideways.
Excerpt from Land Unlimited: Underground Dreams – a CNA documentary about how Singapore and other land-scarce cities overcome land shortage
There are no more original creative ideas, I could be wrong, but let’s say I’m right. I’m completely fine with this reality. I don’t need to be the genesis of anything. I’m just pleased by the fact that I can take part in this great exchange of ideas and that I can be inspired. And I’m happiest when I’m producing work that reflects my inspirations. I can only hope to one day be as masterful a thief as Tarantino is.
Is everything I’ve said here today original? F**k no.
Mark Twain said it. “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”
David Lynch said it. “there’s no original ideas, it’s just the ideas that you caught”
(There was a whole fish analogy and super fun animation that came with it)
David Lynch on Where Great Ideas Come From
And that’s it from your friendly neighbourhood wisdom spouter.