If you spend a lot of your time around artists and musicians, you’ve probably heard this more than once:
“Nothing is original. Everything has been done before.”
If someone makes this statement in a group of people, one of two things will happen:
- Everyone agrees and gets a sheepish look on their face as if to say, “Yeah. I guess we suck.”
- Frustrated with the idea of their aspirations hanging in the balance, someone references a specific work or artist as a counterargument. The two people then volley back and forth ad infinitum. Or worse, someone defers to the age old bore-fest “…but what is art, really?” Usually in these cases I just keep my mouth shut. If I’m feeling playful, I’ll chime in with something about collage art and sampling or ask for opinions on how tools affect originality.
But the answer is simple:
Yes, everything has been done. But not everything has been done well.
Now go create.