Challenge: Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?
I dont think I've ever been tremendously imitative or tremendously unique. I've always felt odd, but having an artist for a parent made being odd seem perfectly reasonable. There have been short-lived times in my life that I've tried to fit in, and there have definitely been times when I buckled to peer pressure (some I really regret), but overall I've been pretty okay with feeling like I'm always on the outskirts. As I've gotten older, I find that being out of the mainstream of things is usually my preference, so it makes it that much more comfortable being in my own skin. When, in general, you'd rather be home reading a book than invited to anybody's party, it doesn't really matter anymore if people like you or just think you're weird. In my opinion, weird is a badget of honor anyway -- I've always been attracted to the misfits. Muggles are boring.
That said, I would like to be more unique creatively -- in my design work at work and artistically outside of work. But I think that's a process. In my professional world, I think I have gotten a lot less imitative over the years. I wouldn't describe myself as cutting edge by any means, but I think I've developed an individual style that continues to grow and improve. Outside of design, I consider myself a novice, and I don't think you can really start thinking about creating unique work until you've got the rules and the process down.
One of my favorite quotes of all time:
"They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..." --Jack Kerouac, On the Road
I've always identified with it, because it celebrates the misfits of the world. I think that's as close to a Divine Idea as I can get.