Don't be Original - Just be Individual

by Saul Edmonds

‘I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.’

- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 – 1969)

‘Don’t try to be original. Just try to be good. That sounds sort of naive but it’s true.’

- Paul Rand (1914 — 1996)

‘Don’t be Original. Just be Individual.’

- 2011: Roundhouse

Originality vs Individuality

  • Originality has long been promoted as a creative essential.
  • Individuality less so.

Yet, the search for originality is a self conscious one. The artist should serve the medium and idea before serving self.

Originality may in large be considered a weaker proposition than the quest for individuality. Why?

Genuine individuality necessitates a truthfulness to oneself. Truthfulness by definition carries the intention of personal honesty. It is through this process of honesty that creativity becomes less ‘individual’ (about the artist), and communicates more broadly : beyond the individual to the ‘self within’ that defines us all.

The search for individuality may be described as the personal search for universal forms. Archetypes of meaning lie hidden within our works.

Communication : Connection

(Artist/ musician as communicator)

A trust game, where trusting you to be yourself is enough.

Individuality exceeds originality as a creative premise.

In the quest to develop creative works, innovation for its own sake is rarely innovative. Creativity is the slow prize of process.

Each work achieves coherency only within context. A shallow ‘newness’ will always be eclipsed by something true.

Rules are recognised and yet broken in intelligent ways.

A structural framework always remains.

Progress and revolution are best built upon well established truths that speak to us all.

by Saul Edmonds