Whenever an artist begins their journey they want to prove themselves by showing they can paint, play, or write a book. It usually starts with playing songs that we’ve known for years that have played on the radio. If you are a painter you’ll copy a master or popular pic to show your skills.
We see it all the time in culture: Brands mimic and retell stories that have already been told. The new product is actually another product just slightly altered. I will admit for myself that creating original content is the biggest challenge in creativity. It takes more effort, digging, and self-searching of your heart to find the gold.
One of my passions is Pixar. They don’t take the easy route. Great technique is powerful. Good animation is important but original story trumps everything. Recently I saw the Good Dinosaur twelve minute extended trailer. It was the most beautiful Pixar movie I’ve seen yet. Well, maybe not as much as Ratatouille. That one is still the best.
However, The Good Dinosaur holds original content. The film went through many stages of refinement to land on original, solid story. Inside Out as well as other Pixar films carry the same standard: Story must trump all else.
I have a passion for helping Creatives drill down on the hard stuff. You can’t build a house on sand. This goes for your films, your brand and your life. Your story is the most powerful asset in your life to be used to impact the world. The same goes for brands.
Your story is the foundation for what everything else sits on. Build a great company and serve customers without a foundation of a solid identity and purpose and you’re sure to run out of steam soon. Your “why” and story is the bedrock.
Below are a few points I use to help make sure I’m staying in originality and not becoming part of the status quo:
If the Trail ahead of you is wide open you’re on the wrong trail – Be a trailblazer not a follower. Most settle for the least path of least resistance, which results in a recycling of someone else’s story.
Life is too short to live someone else’s dream – If your dream isn’t intimidating to you it’s most likely insulting to God. You’re not on this earth to tell someone else’s story. This is your life, your story. “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!”
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken – We can wear ourselves out in comparing ourselves and not meeting up to someone else’s standard. This can even go as far as co-dependency. We can get into trouble by basing our decisions off of other peoples responses to us. We are here to live our life, not an imitation of another’s.
Being an original is tough – Anyone can sing karaoke. Well, maybe not anyone. But still, it’s easy to sing in your car, paint another persons image and create content based on someone else’s content. However, being an original requires you rolling up your sleeves, getting dirty, and digging for the gold. If it was easy everyone would be doing it but that is why it’s called the masses. Everyone is playing follow the follower.
Your life is a piece of art. Will you be a rough sketch or a masterpiece? Will you be thought provoking or a safe image that looks “cool”? Regardless, your life is a blank canvas. How will you paint it? Will it be a resemblance of someone else or a masterpiece of the workmanship God did when He created you. You are one of a kind.
Ephesians 2:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
It’s time we got busy figuring out our unique abilities, purpose, passion, and calling. It’s there that we discover who we are, what we are supposed to do, and who we are supposed to do it for. Life is way too short to live someone else’s story.