Creative Process: Originality

Photograph of Pablo Picasso c. 1951

It’s a tricky subject, this process of being original that is so very vital to creating anything of unique meaning and importance.

We’ve compiled these differing yet cohesive views to help shed light on what originality is, and why it’s important to any creative endeavor.

As a rule, I am very careful to be shallow and conventional where depth and originality are wasted.
— Lucy Maud Montgomery
True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.
— Edith Wharton
Originality depends only on the character of the drawing and the vision peculiar to each artist.
— Georges Seurat
Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
— John Stuart Mill
I always try to improve, to find new ways of expressing myself, to keep looking for truth and originality.
— Burt Lancaster
The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything. And I really believe that. And what I try to teach young people, or anybody in any creative field, is that every idea should seemingly be outrageous.
— George Lois
Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.
— Ansel Adams

This editorial is part of Vol. 04: The Process Issue. Purchase a copy here.