"Everything is derivative Baby"
My British drawing professor said this once during my first year of Fine Arts. I can't remember if it was during a crit (A very painful process of everyone in your class talking about your project) or over beers (our studio was above one of the campus watering holes) that he said this. Someone was going on and on about how 'un-original' a project was and he just threw this statement out there very casually, in a very Austin Powers like way. It hit me with a full power punch. Every idea comes from somewhere.
Sure there are those quantum leaps that happen once in a blue moon. Those are the great creators we know and that have actual movements linked to their names in history- Beethoven and classical music; Salvador Dali and surrealism; Frank Lloyd Wright and organic architecture. But the art of creating does not happen in a vacuum. We are influenced by everything around us and that most ideas are derived from those influences.
As an angst filled art student, there is this perceived thought that everything you do has to be brilliant and oh so original. To have one of your professors say in a very off handed way that yes, everything comes from something else and yup, there's nothing new about that, was an honest to goodness relief to my 20 year old ears. It still is today over 25 years later.
I've been hovering for years between the world of fine jewelry design and craft jewelry. I look at fine jewelry for design inspiration and take cues from elements I see there. Right now there is a lot of small diamonds set to add bling to things. It can be quite over the top sometimes but I've used that idea of repetition and texture and come up with a new design to add to my classic collection. I've added one small setting on the piece where I can set a cubic zirconia as a sparkly acknowledgement to the original idea. Derivative yes, but different too. And Baby, that's just fine by me.
I'll be posting this new design on my website in the upcoming weeks. I hope you'll like the finished results!