Is Our Originality Watered Down by the Internet?

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all.”  -Abraham Lincoln

The digital age and internet have brought incredible opportunities for us as a society, and for me, specifically, as a mother at home.  Thanks to the technology, I can network and connect with other artists and designers, share my work, sell my work, and see what others are up to - all while at home caring for my babies.

At the same time, I'm noticing it's difficult to find ideas out there that haven't already been done.  Have you ever taken a photo or created a piece of artwork and not long later, found someone had a similar idea?  It can be a little embarrassing, similar to seeing someone wearing the same shirt you are, out and about town.

Under the sun

Under the sun

How many homes this Christmas had matching handmade wreaths because that particular wreath was incredibly popular on Pinterest?  How many shops on Etsy are carrying chevron items?  (I know I'm guilty of that one.)  I think sometimes we begin to absorb these ideas and regurgitate them without even realizing where we first saw them, or that we had taken in the idea at all.

Certainly, there is great benefit to having a vast amount of knowledge at our fingertips.  Being able to organize and share creative ideas is fun.  It can be inspiring, and we can learn a great deal from each other.  But, how do we set ourselves apart at the same time?  Are we all being inspired by the same sources, since we aren't forced to walk outside our doors and encounter a greater variety of experiences to inspire us?



There is nothing new under the sun, but can I find a way to rehash something more obscure?

Do you intentionally look for new sources of inspiration, unique to yourself?  Where do you go for inspiration?

You might also like to read Creatively Wasting Time.

2012's Top 10 Resources for Creative WAHMs

1.  Coffee 

Pantone Color Report

Pantone Color Report

A constant and timeless creative companion is coffee.  I prefer coffee from my local Alterra.

2.  Pantone Color Report

To stay on top of the color trends, keep an eye on Pantone.

3.  Evernote

Organize your business, your personal life, and your creative ideas with Evernote, a free program.

4.  Local Library

Continue learning for free through your local library with both hard copies and e-books.

5.  Creative Commons

License your creative work and search the creative commons for media you can use.

6.  Outright

Keep track of your income and expenses with this free program, linked to your PayPal and Etsy shop accounts.

7.  Craigslist

Advertise your creative services for free, search the ads for potential clients.

8.  EcoEnclose

Ship your handmade items using affordable eco-friendly shipping materials.

9.  Pinterest

Be inspired, share your creations.

10.  Grooveshark

Create playlists of your favorite inspirational songs to listen to while you work, or while you unwind.