I’ve been writing on my inner wrist. At first, it was an experiment to see if I could stand a tattoo there. But it’s evolved into something else: a place for me to keep a reminder of what I want to focus on for the day. I’ve written my desires on my wrist, I’ve written words in ancient languages, I’ve drawn symbols that only I understand.
When I began reading May Cause Miracles, I decided that I would use the space to record a mantra in a word or two. I tweeted the first and someone commented that they loved the idea so much they’d be stealing it.
That happens a lot with ideas and the internet. The artists transform ideas they find into something new, something that could have come from no one’s hands or minds but their own. But there are many people who don’t put their personal spin on things, who do exactly what others have done before them.
I think when we start out — whether it be with a career or writing or blogging, it’s easy to want to stick with what’s been done because we’ve seen it work. I’ve seen bloggers try to reproduce A Cup of Jo with their blogs — Joanna Goddard’s style and wording and picks — and even gain lots of followers as a result. I’ve watched fashion blogs pop up whose photos or collections are close imitations of the big fashion bloggers. And let’s not forget the people who have gone into a career hoping to follow in their mentor’s footsteps — sometimes a little too closely. We do it part out of admiration, part out of a desire to attain the same type of success and recognition.
But the best stuff tends to be the new stuff, the edgy stuff. It’s Picasso and e.e. cummings and Alexander McQueen. It’s the voice of the brazenly unique individual.
It’s your voice. It’s my voice.
It’s the artist, not the imitator. It’s the one who sees what’s been done and finds that spin, who pushes the boundaries, who adds their own mark of beauty to the world.
You could be an imitation. You could play it safe. But you and I were meant for more than that. Let’s be art.
Your canvas is waiting…
(A little note: I am by no means claiming that the person who left the comment on my photo is planning to imitate what I do rather than transform it — I hope she does just that. I’m very thankful she left that comment and gave me the opportunity to write this.)