For those who don’t know, I am a graphic designer / web developer. Different people have different strengths and within the world of design, that holds true. For me, I am an expert at pulling different things together in a visually appealing way. A good friend of mine is fantastic at logo design; while I would love to have that talent, I have a hard time creating something out of nothing. I need that start, that initial idea.

Years ago I was a teacher. I was at a writing workshop where they talked about different ideas and ways to help your students to become better writers. One idea was a daily news poster that was laminated so that the students could write on it with a dry erase marker.

The motto among teachers is to beg, borrow, or steal good ideas, so there were at least 6 or 7 different teachers trying to make one for their own classroom. I wanted to make one myself but being a creative person, I took the concept and really ran with it. When I was finished I had my poster but it was different than the presenter’s. I had many teachers come up to me and compliment the poster, talking about how great it looked, and then trying to copy mine.

What has struck me is that I needed that initial idea before I got creative with it. I made an original poster but the concept was something that I wouldn’t have thought of.

To a degree that describes me. I am a collection of the different ideas of people who have come before me. While I may make something that looks very original, when was the last time I came up with something truly groundbreaking? Is that even the bar to set or is it better to continue on being original in my arrangements?

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

By Chris G. Clapp

Chris is a computer teacher at Horizon Middle School. He also works with Pathfinders and Adventurers in the Texico Conference as the English area coordinator for the Southwest Texico area. He is happily married to Aimée Clapp.

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