Today's thought

True originality

I see a lot of posts from melodramatic designers that go something like:

“Why aren’t there more oRiGiNaL websites? Does nobody want to flex their creativity and do something that doesn’t look the same as everything else!?”

  1. Websites are a strange bird in the creative space because most clients just need a good, well-made, dependable design… and not one that’ll win awards for how unique and “innovative” it is in the field. Focusing on originality is often a vanity stunt that serves nobody but you.

  2. Putting any energy into capturing “uniqueness” is a silly concept to me because everyone is constantly drawing from something. There may be interesting combinations or remixes that spark novelty, but most times, it’s nearly impossible to REALLY make something new, that’s unique to you.

  3. Mastering the essentials of a craft allows you to discover nuances that provide a space for a personal touch. Trying to “be unique” means breaking helpful rules and bulldozing your way through a project. You can’t throw glitter on a rock and call it a diamond, simply because it’s “your style”.

The only way to really practice becoming a more standout creative is to practice your craft, and practice being yourself. There’s value baked into your work simply because you made it the way only you can — lean into that instead of pursuing the fantasy of “true originality”.

I see a lot of posts from melodramatic designers that go something like:

“Why aren’t there more oRiGiNaL websites? Does nobody want to flex their creativity and do something that doesn’t look the same as everything else!?”

  1. Websites are a strange bird in the creative space because most clients just need a good, well-made, dependable design… and not one that’ll win awards for how unique and “innovative” it is in the field. Focusing on originality is often a vanity stunt that serves nobody but you.

  2. Putting any energy into capturing “uniqueness” is a silly concept to me because everyone is constantly drawing from something. There may be interesting combinations or remixes that spark novelty, but most times, it’s nearly impossible to REALLY make something new, that’s unique to you.

  3. Mastering the essentials of a craft allows you to discover nuances that provide a space for a personal touch. Trying to “be unique” means breaking helpful rules and bulldozing your way through a project. You can’t throw glitter on a rock and call it a diamond, simply because it’s “your style”.

The only way to really practice becoming a more standout creative is to practice your craft, and practice being yourself. There’s value baked into your work simply because you made it the way only you can — lean into that instead of pursuing the fantasy of “true originality”.

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Aaron Rolston © 2099

Aaron Rolston © 2099