How to be Original and come up with Fresh Ideas

In this episode I share my thoughts on originality and coming up with new ideas.


Links Discussed:

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • 7Twenty


  • Aaron

    Stretching the metaphor a little bit but reminded me of this little ditty:!/search?q=buck65+craftmanship

  • Alexandra

    Did you take off the video?

  • Gavin

    i like your work your hair and your videos!!

  • Cody

    No video?

  • Mohammed

    Where did the video go?

  • Mark

    This episode is like part 2 of the last episode since it’s so much related.

    Audio books could be a good tool for inspiration, I’ve not tried it myself yet but I hear nothing but good things about them so far. I’m reading a lot as it is, manuals and stuff, without adding to it. With audio books you can listen while travelling and shopping and such like.

    There’s plenty of inspiration outdoors, you just do what Eminem does, distort it and twist it a bit to make it more interesting.

  • carlos

    I totally agree, the internet and on-line tutorials sometimes only help you to learn the technical part, but we need to play more attention to the artistic and creative part. I will definitely be checking the links you posted!! Greetings from Equador!

  • Tomo

    Just to add another perspective…
    I’ve taken a year off and then some. It’s a little over rated to be honest. True, it’s refreshing to be free of the chores needed to cover the basic’s in the day to day but the concept get’s old real quick. The truth of the matter is you’ll always find things to distract or occupy your time. Maybe you’ll be taken by life changes from friends and family matters.

    Motivation is key. If you have this nothing will stop you. If you don’t, you’ll just find another excuse to sate the reasons behind your lack of progress.

    As a software developer I would often come across jobs that would require learning new techniques in programming. Searching the internet would show examples on how other users would accomplish these goals. You may take bits from here and there to finish your task at hand. In the end you didn’t really copy other peoples work. You found out a method on how to apply an understanding of a specific technique to get the end result. We use what we know or we learn what we don’t know.

    Ok so how does making this original fit in? Well after a few jobs I would need to return to an old project to add new functionality. Sometimes adding a new feature set would impact the initial design of the code base. So to get to a solution I would be forced to revisit the work from before and would come up with an entirely innovative idea. It’s kinda funny to go through old work with fresh eyes and realise how primitative or plain the previous code release was. So here we ignore what is known and use what we want.

    Build steps. I guess you need to start anything, and do whatever works to get a quick finish. Once you have established a baseline of the subject matter you can take a break and work on other projects. Come back with fresh eyes or a new appoach on something to add. We use what we ‘know’ common, until we know what we ‘want’ original. To come up with a fresh idea you sort of have to first create a situation that requires an inspired goal.

    I think taking long breaks is a good thing. As long as it involves traveling into new encounters. But remember it’s drama that creates the desire for inspiration. If we lived trouble free, then motivation would decline just like our need to be released from the day to day dramas.

  • Ken Wilkins

    This video got me think about my choices for inspiration and I noticed I had a very specific one for most of my ideas; books.

    Reading books is a neat way of coming up with idea because you don’t have to create the entire idea. Everyone who reads ends up with their own image of the characters or the surrounding yet while reading it is done almost instantly. There is never any pressure to visualize and get a picture of it and if it’s a book you really like, I’ve found the excitement of bringing it to life or bringing it out of the book is a great motivation.

    note; I don’t know much about copyright laws since I do not publish my work so they don’t matter but keep it in mind if you wanted to do something big with a book.

  • Matt Hurley

    Great commentary! This is one of the hardest things to do and really separates the “artist” who creates from the “technician” who just knows how to operate a pencil.

    That being said, I’ve been learning from a local sign painter who has encouraged me to copy art that I find appealing. This is mostly just for technical education, though, just to learn how to use a pencil/software/paintbrush/etc. Even he, though, takes several magazines to see what other sign painters are doing. Especially in a field like that, it’s important to follow trends to some degree because signs are supposed to be easy to recognize and easy to “read” (even more than just the words), and that’s done by using standards that laymen are familiar with seeing. The other thing he does is find a neat element that he can apply to HIS sign. The key there is that it’s HIS sign already and he’s only using a part of someone else’s idea because it actually ENHANCES his own sign.

    One of the best things I ever learned in English class in High School was when my teacher was giving us advice about taking our Advanced Placement tests. On the test we’d be given a prompt of some kind that we’d have to write about. She told us to write down the first 5 ideas that came to mind and then throw them away. The problem is, if they were the first things that came to YOUR mind, then there were likely the first things that came to everyone else’s minds too. Doing that forced us to really come up with something interesting that was not just quick, easy, and the same as everyone else.

  • Perpetual

    This is all true, but sometimes people that are into CG are just trying to make a buck and are not trying to be the next Picasso. Sometimes, its not necessary to try re-invent the wheel when dealing with contract work.

  • magiciandude

    This is really the problem I have with internet tutorials. Most people are uninspired, uncreative copycats that see something neat and want to make “that.” It’s also somewhat sad to me that that is how people get views on youtube. They follow a tutorial exactly, post it, get lots of views and publicity, and then go find the next interesting tutorial.

    I think more people really need to understand that tutorials aren’t meant to be used this way. They’re meant to be used for learning a feature, and then you’re supposed to take the new knowledge and apply it to your own works and styles…

    People don’t need to be asking how to make “that.” They need to be asking, “How can I apply that knowledge to something new? How can I apply this to my OWN project?”

    I do, however, think it’s fine to take new knowledge and apply your own spin on it. For instance, I’ve seen paint splatters used in several different ways. No, the idea of using paint splatters in design is not original, but it is a cool looking design, and it’s very popular among the crowds. So, in my opinion, if you can take that general idea and apply your own, cool spin on it, that is totally okay.

  • http://Website(optional) adrian

    The thing is that when you start working with a new tool or app you often comes up with results that have already been done by others.
    The reason for checking sources like devart is to know what other have already made so that you know where the bounders are.
    Than hopefully you might find your blind spot.
    Dose it make any sense to you?

  • elephantatech

    Any CGI work is technically Art and Craft just nothing is physical but it does require physical effort. Art and Craft is created by any individual with their style and technique. like hold a pencil in a different way. It is the adaption of others styles and techniques to you style and technique that will keep your originality. It due to the internet that copying can be traced on the other hand how do we know it is not originally theirs as 2 people can come with a similar idea without knowing. Copying is a way common to learn a style or technique. However most individuals do not understand there is copying then there is adaptation. Adaptation is using the technique and style learned and applying it your way merging it with your style so to enhance your existing techniques and styles. You have to use your style and techniques or else it will either be a cheap copy. So Adapt not copy. Learn how to introduce items into your work. In some cases you have never tried it then in that case try first your self then see if you can adapt parts from others work. I takes years of practice to create a unique style so don’t rush into it but rather identify you work vs that which is adapted.

  • Alan

    As a hobbyist, I know for a fact that the majority of what I do in Blender is either a direct copy of; or at least is heavily influenced by; stuff others have done which have made me go “WOW!…how’d they do THAT?!”. That’s how I learn in the hope that when I do get a good idea I’ll have an arsenal of techniques which could help me make it real. The most consistently original Blender work I’ve seen personally comes from a chap who goes by the name of beznazwiska on YouTube who is a constant source of wonder and pleasure to me. In my opinion, he’s a real artist whereas I’m just a geek with a new toy for now, but I’m enjoying it.

  • http://progamer101101 markus

    i just want to say that everything what you say is right but you see how much you can influence the people’s work with your tutorials :D

  • Morten

    A couple of thoughts:
    - Note this: They dont have hollyday on their ´time of´, they work hard and with a sense of direction.
    - Copying is a excellent way of learning, every, and I mean every, great artist have done it.
    - If you want to be creative it helps a lot to know your craft so you can spend your time creating and not wasting time trying to understand how to do things.
    - Try to find visual inspiration from something non – visual: Radio, music, books.

  • Whimsy Collective

    A repost from Facebook Page comment on Blender Guru.

    I was at the AENY meet up this past July session, Aharon Rabinowitz (@ABAOProductions), Jim Geduldick (@Filmbot).

    Their discussion also mentioned about people ripping and using pres…ets off others ae projects. *HAHA* And people doing reels based on tutorials. *HAHA* I think there’s no recipe or cookie mould for an individual to be original. If it SPARKS make FIRE, if it doesn’t you’re either lacking in concept or not grasp of your own problem to strategize a solution an effective solution. Again it’s an example there a many ways to approach a problem and come up with a solution. Take for example photoshop. There’s no one way of doing it right. You do it yourself that’s best and settling in your mind.

    IMO, I appreciate the art in reserve engineering oh or the approach in how a projects was conceived to inception. Just the fundamental mechanics does it for me, no further spoon feeding *KTHXBAI*. Basically, learn the limits of the tool and stretch it a bit further whether you have to break night to script and/or buying or selling the script.

    I admit, takes awhile to kickstart an idea. I usually cut my social media and computer usage and hop on my bike. Dude, I get a hype of focus. It’s like I am a idea generator on a bike. Absolute focus, and I get like a welder with a arc to problems I need to solve. In addition, sleeping on an idea and waking the next morning having solved the problem. Excuse the back and forth problem and solution. It’s only fitting in the context I am in right now. But this is a lengthy feedback. WOW!

    What I can I say, originality resonates from within. -victor de la cruz

  • Maurício

    The hardest part of this is to have free time.
    Also if we are beginners at the area, we need to spend a lot of time studyng the software, it’s not a easy task.
    But is no impossible, it’s just a question of patience.
    (Sorry for my bad english :)

  • deep

    For stupids like me… it takes forever to come up with new ideas…:)
    so the jist is if you have a design studio in NY then take the ideas from the weird people of bally and copy their culture patterns in your design… .:-)
    well jokes apart……. it was really nice hearing you andrew… and yes your points are correct… but i think its okay and encouragable for new learners to copy the arts or ideas of great masters in their artworks, obviously not for publishing but solely for learning cause… what you think?….
    good day and take care

  • Connor

    I have always used reference images of other things when i want to make them, but I have been wanting to make my own things without them but my mind always comes up blank, so i looked at an old note book of mine and it has some interesting drawings of inventions that haven’t been made yet, so i will try that instead

  • Alberto

    Very interesting ideas!!!
    Of course the one I loved the most is the “one entire year off”, but all of the rest are pretty well also :)

    Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas with us.