Individualism versus Inspiration

I have always prided myself for my individualism. I do not adhere to collectivism, group projects, morphous activities. My stance, philosophy and outlook in life is to be unique and fluid. I think different, eat different, dress different from most others-that is what I have been told on multiple occasions by many.

I am not lauding or commending my behavior, but simply stating a fact. Many may even think of me as weird, eccentric or even an oddity. Come to think of it, they may even be right!

I have always interpreted individualism as being unique, non-conformist and away from the herd. A thing that is tested and tried is not for me. I want to be the pioneer, the heralder, the leader. Whether anyone wishes to follow me or not is a whole different issue!

I make tall tales and claims as to how I am so different, so unique, so exclusive.

Is that really true though?

Yesterday, I was looking at a beautiful shot on the blog of my very dear friend Lee Oliveira. It was a Vogue worthy, artistic shot of a man’s bottom half only, wearing Christian Louboutin shoes and a Burberry bag. I was inspired enough to bring out my Loubies, wear the cropped pants and carry a monstrous tote.

I was inspired after seeing the photo shot by Lee Oliveira and the following question crossed my mind: Do I adhere to individualism in the purest, truest, most uncontaminated sense? Is the inception of my individualism truly from “My Self” or do I use inspiration to adapt to my individualism?

For instance take fashion, did the outfit that I put together truly originate from the inner being of my soul, never done before and unprecedented? In stark honesty the answer is NO, of course not. I was inspired from something, someone or somewhere consciously or sub-consciously.

The greatest artists, musicians and sculptors although fierce in their individualism, seek inspiration from outside. For example, my favorite artist Henri Matisse was inspired by Gauguin and Van Gogh; John Lennon was inspired by the most unique jazz singer Nina Simone; and in today’s times the controversial Lady Gaga is definitely inspired by Madonna!

So, the theory of stark individualism that I have adhered to all my life proves to be a fallacy. It falls flat on its face. Yes, there is individualism, we all have it and we all should develop it to be unique. But we cannot take sole credit for our individualism, as in the shadows is always lurking inspiration.