"The reality is that it's easier to be inspired than it is to create an original idea and we are hardwired to take the path of least resistance. It's easier to jump onto a design inspiration gallery site than it is to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. It's easier to follow a pattern than it is to test-drive new options. It's easier to copy a style or idea that works than try something that might miss the mark or outright fail. Above all, it's cheaper mentally for us to rally around what's already been done and emulate it.
When we over-saturate ourselves in other people's work it short-changes our own creative development. For example, so many of the design inspiration sites on the web today serve up content in bite-sized chunks, resulting in a form of visual junk food. While the work featured on these sites can be some of the best our industry has to offer, the way that it's displayed usually throws concept and story out the window in place or pure visual sugar. The story of a design (the problem and solution) are stripped away so only the visual execution is left to absorb. This view of design rots away the core foundations of our profession."
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I just read this article by Owen Shifflett of Viget.com, and it totally blew my mind hes so right, I dont know how many times I've seen something online or on TV and thought to myself thats cool and then did the exact same thing in my own way. Whether it be in djing, photography, or in producing, I can count the times on one hand that I have actually sat down with a clean slate and tried to create on my own, and that's most likely the reason why creatively I've been in a slump. I've been ingesting everyone else's work for years and years its time for me to do my own thing, I'm going to start by unplugging myself from the internet starting next week, this will only be a week trial but it'll be a start!
Wish me luck!
P.S. Obviously I will still be checking my email via my iphone but no facebook, Twitter, or Websites for a week!