Last fall I did a school project where our topic was positivity. It’s a very big and philosophical subject for a conceptual design course but we tackled it the best we could in the limited amount of time we had. One subject that came up early in the process was motivational Pinterest quotes. It was fascinating to see how we all interpreted them differently and how some perceived them to be infuriating rather than inspiring. I’ve noticed that I now see positive quotes in a different light after that project.
There’s one quote (more of a creative tip really) that I came across on Pinterest a while ago that really made me think, “Do not covet your ideas”. After a bit of googling I found out that it’s from a book by Paul Arden. It probably caught my eye because I was thinking about copyright a lot at the time and this quote was somehow contradicting my instinctual need to protect my work. The core of the chapter about coveting ideas goes something like this:
The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.
Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you.
– Paul Arden
I read the book and while a lot of the content felt specific to marketing and advertising I think it was still worth reading. The do not covet your ideas chapter now makes more sense. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t protect your work and read up on copyright laws. These are really important things and if you have business even more so. But I started wondering if my need to protect my ideas stemmed from the fear that I could somehow run out of ideas. I’m really trying to be conscious of the role fear plays in my decision making, especially the times when fear stops you from moving forward. So if you’re like me and you don’t want fear to stop you from developing, there might be a point in sharing or publishing your creations. If someone steals it then you’ll just have to make new and better stuff. By continuing to create you’re also improving your skills and evolving as a creator.
So with that in mind I’m now publishing some patterns I made for a surface design course I had earlier this year. I’m so happy I got to participate and learn more about repeats and techniques. And now that I’ve published these, I’ll have to design some new and even better patterns!