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?

Variety-is-the-Spice-pink

Variety-is-the-Spice-pink

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.