The Value Of Originality
Wednesday September 19, 2018
When I first started Our Heiday, I felt like I was in my own art/graphic design/business school of sorts - the teachers youtube videos, artists I had admired for years, and those who found me on instagram where I was posting my initial work. I only understood color theory and technique based on intuition and even now, 4 years later, I'm throwing paint to paper and giving it a yay or nay based on this gut feeling I've learned to listen to.
The value of originality is something I've absorbed from my mom over the years. Getting my first glimpse of branding over twenty years ago as she created her hand-lettered logo (the first I ever came across); walking through trade shows she's exhibited at; watching her create one-of-a-kind pieces at her desk before they went into production; seeing them displayed in high-end boutiques; these are all quiet lessons that I've carried and ones that no teacher could have taught me. No one at the time was doing what she did, designing beautiful accessories for women and the home from silk florals and fabric, and to start a creative business as a Korean immigrant mother in her mid-twenties = true trailblazer, friends. I'm still amazed that her company, though it looks much different than what she envisioned, is still operating in the heart of downtown LA.
scenes from S/S 2019 in progress
I don't believe there is ever one truly original idea - we coexist on this earth to learn from one another and any thought is an extension of one we've gathered from some place at some time. But there's value in taking a principle, a theory, an idea and figuring out how to make it your own, to refine what brush strokes are individual to you, which color palettes make your heart sing, how the curve of your pen forms the e a particular way.
If you're like me and have been self-teaching, perhaps this 3-part test might be one that you can turn to:
1. Would an informed, discerning eye look at my work and confuse it for another's?
2. Does my work collectively contribute to the aesthetic of my work/my company/my portfolio as a whole?
3. Am I staying in my lane?
Whether these uniquely you ideas allow a business to form, an art class to teach, a blog to emerge, I hope that we all land at a place where we can be confident that there is room for everybody and more creative pursuits than we could ever exhaust.