• Shirley Fox

An Original Blog Post About Being Original

Abstract With Green, 20"x16"

As I was lining up my paintings the other day, someone in my household said that they all kind of look the same. What???? How can that be? I’m an artist. All my ideas are original. Right?

This is a topic that I believe all artists deal with. Unless, of course, copying other peoples’ art is your thing or your learning their techniques. It’s probably one of our biggest fears. There’s so much originality out there and yet, it’s all been done.

Merriam Webster give three definitions for originality:

  1. the quality or state of being original

  2. freshness of aspect, design, or style

  3. the power of independent thought or constructive imagination

That brings us to the base word “original”. The definition that applies here is “independent and creative in thought or action”.

Perhaps it’s my age and where I am in life but, I think talent and originality are overrated. You and I can go to one of those paint parties where everyone is creating the same paintings and none of our works would look exactly the same.

Some artists are afraid to share their techniques for fear that someone will steal their originality. I have personally had people ask me why I share so much info on my own technique of painting on foil. I say it’s because anyone can pick up a piece of foil and some acrylic paint and make a go at it. I know that their artwork will look different from mine. Besides, I’ve spent years working on methods. Hopefully, that counts for something.

My point is: don’t worry about being original. Make art and you’ll discover that yours will be unique.

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