Empathy Over Originality

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One of my biggest creative lessons over the past few years has been this: always choose empathy over originality.

Every creative wants their work to stand out and be remembered. We often do that by trying to think up something that feels completely original- like it’s never been done before.

The problem with that is that everything is a remix. 💽 It’s impossible to be truly original. So many efforts to be original have instead turned into gimmicks- interesting concepts without heart.

Instead, the best creative goal is to make people say “me too.” To make people feel less alone. ⚱️ The songs that make it onto people’s summer playlists and wedding marches are the ones that are so relatable it feels like they were written for them. Ben Howard didn’t write his first album with me in mind, but it sometimes feels that way!

It’s counterintuitive, but instead of asking what would make your work distinct, ask what would make it familiar. What would take feelings, questions, and experiences that many have felt, but few have been able to put into words... or music, or visuals, etc.

Empathy over originality, always!

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Philippe Lazaro