In this book Austin presents some thought provoking ideas that are very relevant to any creative person practising in the 21st century. Heck, to any person living in the 21st century. This humble jumble of ideas, presented though hand drawn type and adorable sketched characters, all boil down to the same concept.
Nothing is new.
You are not new.
You are not original.
You are not unique.
Ouch. Harsh isn't it? Don't worry, the illustrations cushion the blow a little bit. However, when you consider it, it does make sense. Is there really anything these days that isn't derivative? And even if there isn’t, is that a bad thing? To be influenced and shaped by our cultures and what surrounds us is what allows for progress. If we came up with something new everyday, would anything really develop to reach its full potential? Who knows the answer.
After reading this though, I do feel a sense of lightness in the acceptance that nothing we do is original. As a young creative, I feel this intense pressure to be ‘unique’ and to ‘stand out.’ But by accepting that what we create is a product of our influences, it gives me the chance to be able to consciously choose my influence.
By this I mean:
I recently chose to do last point (which I will talk about in an upcoming post) and already I am seeing the influence of that risk I took in the work I produce, in the conversations I have and the decisions I make.
I'll leave you with this image from the book. Pretty self explanatory. Everything is scary, life is hard and we sometimes make bad decisions, but in the words of Nike–just do it.
Oooh, I love a good brand cliché.