One of my favorite phrases is Solomon’s wise saying… “there is nothing new under the sun.” From books, art, conversations, ideas… most of them are part of the cosmos of conversations… that have probably happened at one time or another. There is even a little element of… you are not that unique or special in that phrase as well. And for this generation, sometimes we need to hear that.
So when it comes to clothing ideas or any ideas on creativity for that matter. We are kind of taking other peoples ideas and putting them to our own. Now, this is where it gets a bit touchy. Recently Land’s End took an exact copy of young talented designer named Kiel James Patrick and copied the thing from fabric, material, all the way to the photography.
You can read the story here at www.ivy-style.com
So what should creativity look like? If there is nothing new under the sun, are we justified at just going about making exact copies of each other? What should it look like?
I was watching a music video of Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors last night.
It really was inspiring. So personal and deep. And I couldn’t help but think this was as good a picture as one could find about creativity and inspiration. And the blend that the stories we live, end up telling us. If we are willing to live them well and risk telling them.
Drew explains that he wanted to go back to Memphis where he grew up to film the music video. He’s got those deep full range of the vocals for blues, did he come up with that style… stole that from Memphis maybe? Just a wanna be copy of those greats? Well, what is beautiful about the video and the song is that he says he wanted to film it with his family. He writes this about it… “We gathered in Memphis, my hometown, to film us doing what we love; laughing, eating, and enjoying each other's company in places where we have a deep history. The Hi Tone Cafe. Central BBQ. My Uncle's Farm, and my Great Grandfathers 1942 Jeep, still in my father's possession. My nieces and nephew steal the show with their innocence, their joy, and their courage.”
Reading that is enough for me to be inspired.
And between watching the video and having that personal story, I think Drew speaks to that creative place with a unique story to tell. I like the phrase… deep history. Driving around his great grandfather’s jeep, being with his family, good food, and those familiar places. Ah, yes, that is what I connect to in the video. This is his life… where he find his inspiration... and the music feeds that place in all of us. This is real. A true story. I want to keep listening… what else does he have to say in his songs?
So what should creativity look like? I guess it takes many forms, but I don’t think it is a carbon copy of a product ripped off in China by Land’s End. That is consumerism. I think it has to do with sitting in your story enough to understand how to share it and tell it. As Steve Job’s say… it’s just connecting the dots. The true dots, I believe that are yours to connect. I think creativity might look a lot like Drew and Ellie's (his wife) song and video.
I hope as our company grows, we can draw from those true stories and our history. I want to continue to live that out myself, and what inspires us to find the next thing for our company website and in clothes. I don't want to turn into a Land's End. Just ripping off others. I want to put the time and the work into understanding and living out my own story. I hope we are just getting started. Did we come up with bow ties, waxed canvas, or dress shirts? Nope. There is nothing new under sun. But do we have a story we want to tell, that includes America, our past, and something we think has been lost?
I’d like to think so. I would be so honored if that was part of our story we get to tell. There are maybe two versions of it... the easy way of Land's End just taking an idea or Drew Holcomb & Designer Kiel James Patrick, for me those are the two paths and choices.