I saw a random Instagram post today that said ‘Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy…’ and so on. And it immediately got me thinking how much I try so hard to stick to being original, but somehow end up doing something that, in some way or another, has already been done before. It’s like an idea suddenly flashing in my brain and then being put out like a candle caught in a gust of wind because it makes my idea seem worthless to me. But lately, I’ve realized how stupid it is to give yourself a hard time for thinking about something that has already been done before.
The reason is simple. If it has already been done and has already been received well by a considerable majority, it can only mean that the idea works. It’s not ‘worthless’ I would otherwise have myself believe. And that realisation has changed my world. The very fact that something has been done now gives me a standard that I either need to meet or surpass because even though it looks like a hard thing to do, it’s a challenge that I’m very much keen to take up, and it makes me curious about where it could take me.
Let’s be real. There is no dearth of artists these days. People are multi-talented, and if and when they’re given the right opportunity, they prove themselves to be more than just capable of learning an additional skill or two. It blows my mind how hard everyone works to achieve that. It’s nothing but impressive because imagine how much more art we get access to these days! We have come a long way from a time when art was kept away from the common masses.
And with the freedom of art and expression come people’s own versions and takes of famous masterpieces. Fanfictions exist. Fan-arts exist. Music covers exist. Dance covers exist. Modern takes on famous paintings exist. Photographic recreations of paintings exist. And of course, parodies exist. When you think about it, it’s really beautiful how we get to live and relive the same kind of art in different ways, through different perspectives. And although a majority of these modern versions of recreated art are done solely for recreational purposes, they are just as heavily consumed as the versions that they originated from.
Which gets me thinking: why don’t we appreciate these artists just as much? Although they create art that has somehow been inspired, they work hard on adding their own personal touches and twists to it, which I have come to realise, happens to be extremely difficult to do. A lot of research goes into recreating an original work. It’s not the same as mindlessly repeating something. Rather, it’s about how you want to do something along the same lines, but also a little differently, without ruining the essence of the original work.
So, come to think of it, fan art isn’t lazy or unoriginal. In fact, you could argue that it’s twice as much work as the original, and yet there is so much hate and mockery against it. Of course, to each, their own, but as my best friend and I discussed in our post ‘Imagine How Tired We Are!‘ there is a kind of disrespect for art that isn’t original and I think that we need to change this perspective because we are living in a generation of remakes. Expecting originality is one thing. But one should also welcome alternate takes, especially when a lot of time and effort goes into creating them.
When we open our eyes up to art, we’ll see that it exists all around us. And whether we like it or not, we are all heavy consumers of art. So can we not praise certain artists while putting others down? You don’t have to like all of them, of course, but you can appreciate someone without dragging others down as well. We can try to be more accepting of unusual art forms. And most of all, we can certainly learn to appreciate any and all forms of recreated work.
In a world where doppelgängers are real, how can we expect art to be original all the time? There are probably six other versions of you running around in this world and you’ll never even know about it, so why drag something that is purely being done for the sake of quenching one’s creative urges? Can we just not? It doesn’t take much to be respectful, you see.
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