Is it true that originality is dead?

Or maybe we’ve just heard it so many times that we stop trying to find new and exciting things within ourselves. I’ve always been frustrated by the idea of originality being dead, not because it means that my ideas aren’t unique or creative, but because it gives us the excuse to conform. This concept makes artists, writers, and musicians censor their creativity, edit their instincts until they become conventional reproductions.

A few years ago I read an interview with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne  that has been on my mind ever since. I’m sure I’m not getting this right, but he basically said that his philosophy of creation is: There’s a lot of great music out there already, so I’m going to push my creativity to its limits, always trying new things. If I succeed, I’ve created something new and unique. And if my experimental projects fail, the world hasn’t lost anything, because there is already so much great music out there.

Wayne Coyne is definitely original, there’s no questions about that. He started out as a manager at KFC and is now a rockstar who performs around the world with extravagant lightshows and costumes. But I think his brilliance comes from his ability to cast his ego aside and say: Look, I don’t want to be a musician if that means writing the same songs over and over again, no matter how famous it makes me. I’m willing to risk my reputation and my future for the opportunity to create something fresh and exciting to contribute to the world.

2 thoughts on “Experimenting

  1. I like this. I feel the same way sometimes about creativity. To be creative, is to fulfill oneself as a person. Not one person is alike, not one brain. You either mold yourself, or allow outside forces to mold you. As long as you remain open, and trust yourself (this means accepting failure as well) then the seed of creativity will manifest. On a side note, I think that there are many different types of writers. One type, lives in their own minds, creating their own world. Another type, feels the need to go someone, to someplace in order to get material. I agree with the later. How can one come back and tell the tale, without going anywhere? I mean this quite literally for people who do not dream. In our dreams, we go places, and the material for writing is endless, if only in our dreams. 😉 Excellent post, my friend. Look forward to the next.

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