Authenticity is invaluable; originality is dead.
I get a lot of messages from young designers often asking me how I found my own unique style.
When I started out as a designer, I too felt a little frustrated trying to figure that out. I compared myself to other creatives – Constantly. Totally in denial, I’d be telling myself it's healthy competition and, like, totally beneficial to my practice.
When I look back, it actually made me miserable and unmotivated. Whether you’re deluding yourself or not, I’m here to tell you it’s bad.
Here’s the thing: Your own style isn’t something you can come up with in a day. Usually, your style will naturally evolve. It’s something that just happens when you’re actively practising. I didn’t know I had a unique style until other people told me about it.
And you know what… I’m a big, fat copy cat, because nothing is original. I stole from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuelled my imagination - Devouring photographs, dreams, random conversations, architecture, quotes, stickers you see in the streets, trees, people, articles, history, films and, like, a little from KAWS. I really love him...
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. – Steve Jobs
Thursday, 3 December 2015 2:29 pm (to be precise), I worked on a rebranding project for Marrickville Metro shopping centre – there was some ruthless thievery that went down that day.
[Refer to images below]
When you place my final logo, next to the first logos that inspired me, you can clearly see the theft happening before your very eyes.
Colours, values, forms, shapes, negative space, lines, and textures – All of these elements exist in the world around us in nature and in the environments we create for ourselves.
Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is dead. And don’t bother concealing your thievery; celebrate it if you feel like it – just like this whole blog post.