My mom hated modern art, but she was a good mom and dutifully went with me to look at some of my favorite pieces. As we stood in front of one of Jackson Pollock’s massive drip paintings, she complained that she didn’t see what was so special about the work. “I could do that,” she said. “I could splatter paint across that canvas.”
And she had a point. She could have re-created a Pollock if she’d wanted to.
Years later, I realized something. Of course, my mom could have created a drip painting like Pollock – she’s seen it before. But that’s the thing, when Pollock created it, the artists before him were working representationally. He broke away from accepted conventions in both technique and subject matter, and he created something new. That’s why his work is so important.
RonBerg / Pixabay
I gave a talk a few years ago, and I started with that story. I encouraged the content strategists and copywriters in the group to quit copying everyone and make something new. This blog post was supposed to be inspired by that talk. However, something happened. My perspective changed, and I no longer believe that ideas have to be completely new to be worthy of a museum’s walls.
How I Changed My Mind About the Basic Premise of this Post
In a meeting a few weeks ago, my boss commented that in this internet age there are no original ideas. There is always someone who has tried it before, at least in some form, and it is a strategist’s job to observe those examples and use them as inspiration.
Well, heck, I thought. I was supposed to write a blog post that argued the opposite.
I reached out to a select group of creative friends – people I find truly inspirational in their unique approaches to their work – and I asked them how they creatively came up with things that are original. And we discussed it: Is it possible to create something entirely new? Or are the best ideas just ones that are repurposed from elsewhere?
And I changed my mind. Possibly, the best ideas exist when old ideas are explored in new context. When creators are not limited by a compulsion to “create something new,” but can just try a new way of doing something old. After all, Pollock created something radically new, but he didn’t do it in a vacuum. He had lots of things to inspire him, from European modernism to Jungian psychology, the Great Depression, and World War II.
I’m not saying that it’s okay to write another version of a blog post on a topic that appears on dozens of other sites. And I’m definitely not saying that it’s okay to copy another’s work verbatim.
What I’m saying is this: Strategists should make new things by drawing inspiration from the world around them.
How to Draw Content Inspiration from the World Around You
Source:: Business 2 Community