Well said. #realtalk
If you are passionate about what you are making, it is yours. <-- I couldn't agree more 👏
I couldn't agree more! It is also impossible not to take aspects of others' work. Even if we don't do it consciously, it's impossible to avoid it subconsciously.
Good words! I agree.
Well said, Josh. Thanks.
Awesome words! Great shot!
Every idea we have, has a seed that was planted by someone/something else. Whether we are conscious of it, or not.
Great post. To be honest I feel scared of betraying my followers to have the same unique taste as my pic. I started out as a landscape noob photographer. Now most of my active followers are landscape artist themselves. How do I branch out and not feel guilty of betraying them? Thanks.
I love this last comment about if you are passionate about what you are making it is yours. I can't agree more. I encounter this everyday as a professional video producer. I am constantly borrowing, improving on, trying something new and then changing my mind. I would say 75% of what i do is trusting my gut there isnt always a science to what we do I do find with Iphotography because it is not my bread and butter I am even more willing to trust my gut and if it feels right to me then well so be it. However with that said and being fairly new to IG I have found there seem to be an unspoken aesthetic in some forums that I find at times to be challenging since well frankly i don't always agree with it. My hope is that as IG continues to evolve and the work that #jj is trying to do that aesthetic will grow and expand.
We are all inadvertently influenced by the circumstances,experiences and scenery around us, whether we are aware of it or not. These things are what our inspiration, or lack of it, are grown from. So is anything truly 100% 'original'? At the end of the day, if you have created a piece that moves you, fantastic. If it also moves and touches others, even better. Whether others deem your piece 'original' or not, is for the most part, irrelevant.
@tonu44 , by not growing, imo, the only person you're betraying is yourself 😌
@filicity_wishes well said! Great advice.
@joshjohnson I think no one can be completely original but we can be unique. I mean like... My husband @thegoodly & I are mostly together when we photograph so alot of our photos are of the same thing and I'm sure a hundred other people have properly shot the same scene or similar but it's about putting your perspective on it, adding your personality to it :)
I like your post. It's like letting other people inspire your work...then innovate for you to inspire other people too.
I totally agree with @schone8 , I just wasn't fast enough with the commenting =P The reality is that if I take a picture off my balcony at night, and find it beautiful, I probably was influenced by VanGogh's Starry night. This doesn't detract from the value of my picture, rather it increases it, as it is in theme with other great artist, but built on their work. Art is iterative!
I agree @schone888 in the end it's irrelevant. We are all influence by outside work. It could others work, environment, past experience, or even the values we have in life.
Why call it stealing? That's how you create your style, by being inspired by others. Who really are original these days? It's all been done before.
@tonu44 I'm not sure I understand. You're worried you'll disappoint your followers if you change your pictures? If that's the case, I guess it would be important to think about why you are shooting and publishing. If you think that what your followers really want to see is landscape work and they might leave if you switch, than you need to ask yourself how important is it for me to keep them around and why. No one can decide that but you . Here's my advice. If you read about the most fulfilled artists out there. If you talk to creative people who are happy doing what they do, I think you'll find that they followed there gut. They let themselves move towards the things that inspired them. Sometimes it's not the most popular move. It generally works itself out though. Passion is magnetic. Just like any magnet it may push some people away but I bet you'll find you'll draw more like minded people to you by being true to what you really love.
Well put. I tend to agree.
@genyvb me too!!! It's about that passion!!
One of the most important things at instagram is that I can admire a lot of very good pictures, and I can learn a lot of them! I'm always trying to be original, but every shot I take has a seed that was planted by someone else before (as @lovecrossphotography said!!), we only try to show our soul in it!!!! Great post @joshjohnson
@tonu44 Exactly. 👌
No one can be absolutely original.
@joshjohnson wow! I have a lot to think about from your advice. Thank you for taking time to help me out. I've got some soul searching to do. Aloha.
I agree with you. If originality comes that's great but I enjoy the pure passion of the art. I enjoy learning from visually seeing other photographers & I make it my own. I get inspired by others and it sparks the creative juices in me. The beauty of a visual art is people can capture a picture from different points of view. The other day someone took a photo of a memorial statue in my town and tagged it to the jj forum. I never thought about capturing it from the angle he took it in. The next day I went and took it from his point of view and put my flavor to it and it made me feel like I accomplished something. I felt satisfied and happy. Haha.
Add to someones creation n you are not infringing anyones rights... The addition is novel
To shun inspiration is to limit one's creativity.
I think you hit it right on the head, Josh. It is important to be original so that you nurture your own creative growth, while at the same time inspiration from other artists many times can spark a new creative idea that will be unique to you and your style. I'm a hobby musician and when I compose music I'm always faced with the same "problem" - it all has been done before. There's only so many chords that can be played and only so many scales to choose from. So basically it's what you do with what you have that inspires you. Same in photography - there are thousands of shots of the Empire State Building - so should you NOT shoot it b/c it's been shot before?
Very right! Thanks for raising the bar and stimulating my creativity and watchful eye! IG has become more fun after I diacovered you and your forums! Sorryif I am still not adding words to my pictures , I ll get there!Cheers from Brasil!🎈
Well said mr. j
Well said. Especially in music and arts, we should not worry about being absolutely creative. But we must acknowledge if there is some inspiration. That would make this world beautiful. Isn't it ?
I recommend this work about this subject http://www.everythingisaremix.info/everything-is-a-remix-part-1/
You bring me so much inspiration and faith in what I do. Thank you. @joshjohnson
I never studied art. I always loved to take photos. For me it's about the moment and some semblance of composition. If you are inspired by another artist I'd call it a compliment to emulate their work. I get a lot of inspiration from my fellow instagramers. As an educator, I find the world a wonderful source of inspiration because I'm exposed to so many different people and ideas . 20 years ago if you had told me I'd be sharing in this format I would have thought you were crazy. As my kids say. "do you" and be proud.
Okay Mister JJ, here's the beef, I am by all means an amateur. I have always loved taking candid photos but didn't even know that they were categorized under candid until our wedding photographer said so. I am by far, any good at taking pics but I do love it. Nonetheless, I will share the following...when I first opened my IG account I treated it as a Facebook social network. A few months later after discovering what hashtags were really about, I began to discover a different purpose to it. I noticed talented people entering challenges and amazing photos. I was in awe. I began to download apps like crazy. Now that I am aware of it all, it is almost stressful for me to upload any photo, yup I said stressful, to upload any photo. I don't want to ask for votes. I don't even want to enter challenges so that I won't have to post a fugly picture to ask for votes. And I don't even have a lot of followers. But I want my feed to look good. 😏 There are days when I say, I wish I could just upload this picture bc I like it, and sometimes I do. But it doesn't get many likes and I stress to think, maybe I did something wrong with the edit. I often tell my husband, whom is so artistic and joined the IG community after me yet is much more successful than I am, that I wish I could just upload what I love. But I don't feel it's good enough. I do feel inspired by others very often, of course from my talented husband @dm_007 a natural and excellent BW lover. And @ayanah @lucidloops @love__gtm @makavelimtrx anything they do is amazing. I try their edits but never achieve their greatness. If I had to choose what my originality I wouldn't know what it is. I like images that have real life and color. Candid are my favorite. But I also enjoy viewing all the tweaked edited photos. Am I nuts? Maybe. Or maybe just diverse. I don't know! But I the one thing I can say is that through IG I've learned so much and I hope that one day I can be as great as you and the ones I've mentioned. ☺
PS...I apologize for the typos.
I work in marketing and am constantly reminded that "there is no new thing under the sun." That also applies to photography. We just learn from others, whether consciously or not, and put our own spin on it. That's where originality and uniqueness come in.
So well put, and on a topic forever debated in creative realms.
Thanks for your post @scuttle_bug! I took a look at your husband's feed and immediately gravitated toward it. I'm just someone having fun with my iPhone so don't quite know what my personal style is. But his feed spoke to me and I realized that the photos I take are of a similar aesthetic. Now I can look to him for inspiration to make my shots better. I will definitely be "follow"-ing! #whyiloveinstagram !
Check this, @ro_guedes. JJ is saying something like I said to you, about references and inspiration ;)
@joshjohnson I love your analogy about passion being magnetic. Inspiring words.
Well said @joshjohnson 👏
Right on! Thanks for the am inspiration!
Brilliant and so inspiring sir. @joshjohnson
@her_bliss What a great question?! I'm working up an answer for you. I'll make a post later today. Would it be ok if I mentioned you in the post?
Yes, but beware the slippery slope of unconsciously substituting their vision for yours!
@her_bliss first and foremost you should upload what you like. We all fall victim of trying to please our followers. Even myself. I like you started using ig as a kind of Facebook and just shared family photo etc with friends and as you did later realised the potential. At first I tried to please followers but I'm trying to get out of that now. You should just be yourself in your gallery and adding some personnel photos etc will allow people into your life and get to know you. I had a quick look at your gallery and looks great to me ;)
@mmphsbelle I'm glad you enjoyed his feed :) @her_bliss I read you're post and I joined instagram in march and to be honest I wast really in to photography as such becos it was my husbands @thegoodly's thing but I was bored one day and joined to take part in the daily challenges just for something to do I added one photo aday it was the first time I'd ever really taken photos and I felt the same as you, although most of my first weeks my photos were a bit rubbish and I was also stressed cos I wanted to have the likes etc but then I kinda found my thing I guess, it's not even that I got better as such I just saw inspiration for my photos in places I had before now I love love love it! I now add what I want (dont get my wrong it still makes me happy if it's liked) and slowly over time my followers have built a little but anyway I guess I'm trying to say I know how you feel but just do it for you :)
@her_bliss you definitely take way more better pics than me lol :p
You will never be in the exact moment and place that another photographer was when they took a photo. If you "steal" their idea, you will have no choice but to do it in a way that applies to you. I think it's a necessary thing in order for art to evolve. You could in turn inspire some one to steal it from you, and they will tweak it to the situations presented to them... Kind of like the telephone game, 10-20 photographers down the line it could it might look like something completely different, but equally as beautiful. :)
@her_bliss I know exactly what you are talking about. I did a series if photos of people in a laundromat and i don't feel like i can post them. I love capturing everyday life, the more emotional side. But it doesn't match the focus on form and technique on IG forums. I do love the jj forums, though b/c they are like mini workshops where i can focus on one thing at a time until i get it right. It's not the kind of photography i love, though. I do hope what i learn here will improve what I'm really passionate about.
I try to think less about being original and more about being honest. This, then, gives your oeuvre -- or gallery -- its integrity, whether your style is derivative or completely unique.
I compare this discussion with music. Think about all the music you like, in our age, anything that is created has been done before to some degree. To learn music, you first need to explore music, the creations of others. We are limited to this planet for all our pictures. Original work is nothing more than a perception based on another's work.
It'so hard to find the originality. Because human are destined to be social, therefore they are connected each others and also learning from one another. My point is: originality is (almost) non-exist; unless you are God Himself! :)
I have run into people all the time who stress out about others or even friends end up having on the same shirt or pair of shoes. But I think each person's approach to art is like a fingerprint. They say that no two fingerprints are the same. No matter how hard you try to be, different or the same, it is the person wearing the attire, intentional or accidental, their very own fingerprint. In pre-K we were taught to trace. I have always wondered why we were taught to trace, perhaps it was to develop hand and eye coordination, or maybe, just maybe it was to show that regardless of what we trace makes it an original all its own and no two reproductions are ever the same. @joshjohnson
I know that I have been inspired and would not have anything if I did not copy those I admire.
Brilliant quote @ailovelyghe. Thank you for sharing!
I love this. Will comment later today!
Well put @joshjohnson
thank you for that - perfect timing.
@ailovelyghe love the Jim Jarmusch quote. I think we would have to be living in the dark to not be influenced and inspired by everything that surrounds us. It is still our own unique vision of these influences that we apply to the end product - whatever it may be. This even holds true for one's philosophy on life. I wonder how many of us have had a truly original thought? Does it mean we should stop thinking? And we should not stop creating.
Wow, usually I don't stop to read long descriptions like this but I'm glad I did this time. Your words are very powerful. 😊
@her_bliss Anita, Loved What u wrote. Loved your gallery too. 👏👏👏😄😘
@ailovelyghe Fantastic quote--thanks for sharing!
I also agree. I just finished reading a great little book called "Steal Like An Artist" which is all about this. Part of the Jim Jarmusch is in it as well.
Inspirational words! Because everything that could have been original one day has already been transformed into something else. For me inspiring myself is finding elements of my own style and identity in another's work. Art is free after all.
Back to the theme of theft I see!!!! Inspiration is much nicer but I see you're he'll bent in thievery👍👍👍 Flame on Josh!!! Or "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"!!!!! Try those words for awhile. This theft thing is just really getting on my last nerve Josh!!!!! @joshjohnson
..totally agree with you JJ 😊 optimizing a muse or inspiration takes me MUCH further creatively, emulating those I truly respect, admire, and in awe of.. complete flattery IMO and continues the development of ART xXOo
Great advice 👏👏👍👍👍
lots of great words of wisdom in all these comments. thanks @joshjohnson for getting this discussion going. I have a few thoughts to add... I started taking pictures years ago and never really had much of an education about other photographers, I am an autodidact and I love learning so I combined that with following my eye/gut and before I knew it i was finding some great stuff... I started showing it to friends in the arts/entertainment fields and one friend said to me one day that I must be a huge fan of a photographer I had never heard of or scene of his his work at all. I was blown away that much of my work was so similar to this other artist from 20-30 years ago. it was both great and so odd at the same time. I almost didn't want to look at his work anymore, but then I remembered another friend who has had a successful business for decades and he has always told me "you don't have to reinvent the wheel, just make it run better" and I agree. i now consider that photographer one of my favorites. another good friend is in a well known band and his way of describing all this is that he bites others styles, but he can still only be himself and it's the fusing of those things that make him so good. it really is about following your own instincts and bettering yourself from all things around you.
Mind? I don't mind at all. Flattered is more like it! I really didn't think anyone would read it. But after the response my comment has had, I feel a little bit of a relief🙆. I am not alone. 😓phew!
@her_bliss I had the same conundrum when I started IG. My husband is the artist in the family @sirreal , and I started out exactly the same way as you, wanting followers, more likes and an awesome looking feed but since I had no specific style and liked everything, my feed looked so haphazard! Instead of trying to find a "label", I decided to try tying my photos together by series, something that ties them together, whether it be a type of editing, the same hipstamatics, b&w's, the same shot just different perspectives, the title or the song I choose for them. Then after awhile and a lot of followers, I noticed that the interaction that I wanted just wasn't there, so I got rid of all the "ghost" followers. Now I'm happy with my quality of likes and comments, not quantity. Post what makes you happy, like what was already stated, if you are passionate about what you are posting it will attract people.
How can we not be influenced by the volume of media coming at us? I can't think without recycling images I've absorbed, and I hate to find myself channelling some composition from an ad in a magazine. I generally avoid it by shooting from waist-level, disregarding vertical and horizontal, embracing blur and choosing subjects that don't normally get my attention. My failure rate is really high, and I have discovered an unexpected tolerance for abuse. My own childhood photo idols were Bruce Weber, Hiro, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, a little Diane Arbus to balance the relentless beauty.
Seeing it from a 'technical' view: in the German law there's a 'rule' if you take something from someone, it is stealing. But if you steal and add something of your own and/or recreate it, it is not the same thing anymore. The 'taking away' act is still to be punished, but it's another level. I don't know how to explain it better in English, but I think you get the concept. You add your own stuff to the 'thing' and it's not the same 'thing' anymore. I think it's the same with art. If you engage in the art of the great artists, you work with something that is well known as art all over the world. You get the feeling for it. As soon as you start to add your own stuff/thoughts/emotions to your 'copy', it's new and its yours! @joshjohnson
@edmontoncenter a) I would be stunned to actually *remember* a magazine ad layout. b) Yet your images often feature parallel horizontal and vertical lines—at least the few that are here. I think mass media has influenced us with the conventions of *design* more than we have been influenced by art.Art needs no justification. Art does not require the viewer to have a standard interpretation that is objectively "true." Art imposes no set "meaning," or "interpretation." There may be artistic conventions, but artists are not required to conform to them in order to enjoy success or fulfillment.On the other hand, design – especially mass media design – is about communication. And communication requires a set of conventions and symbols and ways of doing things so that meaning and intention can accurately be conveyed to the viewer and audience. Mass media design may be beautiful and "artistic," but it is not art itself.Because we have all been so heavily inundated with design we have unconsciously absorbed design principles as artistic conventions – and this is not the case. What works in design works for a reason. It is not required to be this way for art.Personally, I love design and artistic design. I embrace that. But these conventions are not required for a visual work to be art.
Rich, I agree completely with your post. But reality is that art (and I'm certainly not making art) is not always accessible or understandable. I offer as examples abstract art (which I love), poems by T. S. Eliot (which I do not love) or any art installation that I have seen at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Our university churns out highly-regarded metal sculptors at a frightening rate, and I am not sure any of the viewers of abstract sculpture get the artist's point. Ah, maybe that's the point- someone puts something out there and the audience members each invest it with their own values and contexts. Truthfully, you could say that art encourages the viewer to find his own message, and propaganda delivers the clear and unambiguous content. I don't mean that as a criticism, either, because that is also the role of advertising and I primarily buy magazines for the pictures. Dynamite shot of Tim Tebow on the cover of GQ right now. Thoughtful portrait or irresistible lure? You decide. I can remember Bruce weber layouts for GQ in the 80's, not that I'm tempted to chase Pepperdine water polo players for pictures. There are photos from Vogue in the 90's that haunt me, they are so perfect. I'm very visual, like other guys, and and really strong images stick with me. Thanks for the feedback- you have a beautifully orderly mind, and I envy the ones why get to set you off on a subject you care about. And you should see the pictures I don't post, for one reason or another.
@edmontoncenter Thanks for the feedback! I agree with you. For what it's worth I am one who enjoys aesthetics a great deal – but most "art" – at least modern art – leaves me puzzled and wary. That's what I tend to happily embrace "design" as my aesthetic choice.
@scuttle_bug thank you beautiful. I know that's what I need. I love challenges but hate to ask for votes. I don't want to bother other IGers. I feel we have so much interaction enough to do. Thanks again love.
@samteevee you're too sweet Sam.
@michelleangus Michelle! I'm relieved I'm not alone. When it comes to others, I say the same, post what you want. Im pretty faithful and I'll like and comment. Why can't I say that to myself?
@anamokdeci wow. Thank you Ana!! I am flattered by your words. 🙏❤😘
@mysticmermaid Christy! Thank you. I know I have to work on this. And I will.