Nothing Beats an Original

by Jason Kotecki on · 8 comments

Have you ever noticed that you can always tell whether a child’s drawing was actually drawn by a child or an adult? Advertisements, signage, or product packaging will sometimes convey a childlike quality by including some elements supposedly drawn by a child. Much of the time, the drawing is done by a grown-up mimicking a child’s drawing. And you can tell it’s a fake.

Why is that?

It’s because the grown-up is trying to be something he or she is not. A real child’s drawing contains the bold, uninhibited and unconventional expressiveness of that certain child. An adult can try to copy that spirit, but it is a fool’s game. The adult is burdened with too many pre-conceived notions: what color something is supposed to be, what shape something is, how big it should be in relation to the other objects. Even though a grown-up may try to ignore those learned observations — by making the sun green or the house a triangle — she might not even consider the idea of making the trees float, which may be an obvious choice for a particular child. Usually, the grown-up ends up with an image that looks kind of like something a child would draw, but it’s always just a bit off, making it glaringly inauthentic.

Nothing beats an original.

We run into the same problem when we imitate someone else instead of just being ourselves. When we try to fit into a career that doesn’t suit us, mirror the journey of a personal hero, or follow in our father’s footsteps, no matter how well we do it, something will always be just a bit off. People can tell, and more importantly, we can feel it. Ironically, the reason we can’t pull it off is because too much of “us” gets in the way.

Like a child with a blackboard and a fat piece of chalk, what we need to do is open the floodgates and let the “us” run free. It is only when we boldly go in our own direction, tap into our own mix of unique talents, and embrace our own wonderful idiosyncrasies that we can fashion a life that is a truly authentic and inspiring work of art. It’s always better to be a first-rate you than a second-rate somebody else.

As my friend Scott says, “Cover bands never make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

There is magic in your originality. That’s what we want to see. And it’s exactly what the world needs.

by Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by for more tips for escaping adulthood.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralph October 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Very true. Nothing is worse for me than doing things the same way they have been done. Being creative and original is liberating and usually produces better results.


Jason of Kim & Jason October 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

You’re right about that Ralph! The benefits of being yourself go on and on…


David Stevens October 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Great topic and great point Jason…creativity, originality go a long way….and in the main, that’s what people are looking for. Thankyou.
be good to yourself


rob white October 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

So true, Jason. The reason we admire the “genius” of a Picasso or Miro is because of their ability to create like a child! It is no easy thing. We all face the challenge of denying the lie of our Counterfeit-Self. When we are able to think like a child we are authentic, free and expressions of our highest nature. Originality sure is simple, but boy it is not simplistic!


Jason of Kim & Jason October 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Simple but not simplistic…well said!


Anna October 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm

So true! I really like your point on the importance of originality and creativity, that’s why I have chosen homeschooling for all my toddlers…


Jason of Kim & Jason October 16, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hey Anna, we are planning on doing the homeschooling thing, too! Let the craziness commence!


chanikacha November 22, 2012 at 2:08 am

I do agree with this article! The only things that we can show is just being our self. Since It is better off creating a new art or something that shows the hardship and good creative skill than seeing others and copying their work.
chanikacha´s Last Fabulous Post ..fobusMy Profile


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