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Copying other's work: The true path to originality!

If you can't copy people you are missing out on a true learning experience. Now I don't mean copy on a test, that's just wrong but who am I to stop you. By copying I mean to take inspiration and recreate their work. And soon you'll find your originality.

In one of my previous blogs (actually my first blog), I talked about the fear of originality. A very common thought for any new creator is being seen copying other creators. But that's where they miss out on a really good learning opportunity.

In the last couple of years, a lot of people have reached out to me asking how to start to learn to edit videos. Initially, I used to ask them to just look up tutorials on youtube and learn from there. But that's not really how I learned to edit. I learned by recreating scenes from my favorite movies while growing up. When I became an Instagram creator I started recreating videos from other creators. I was fascinated by their videos and I was like:

Damn! I gotta do this myself!

Most of my older videos were me recreating Zach King's work. I have learned so much just by recreating his videos. Even now, I get a kick out of recreating someone else's video.

The thing is it's only wrong if you take complete credits for the video. Tag the creator whose video you recreated. Write: "Inspired from @'name of the creator'." This does many things:

  1. The creator who you got inspired from feels really good that his video got recreated. (I love it when people recreate my videos).

  2. There is a chance you build a good connection with the creator which helps you get into that particular community. (That's how I met all my creator friends across the world).

  3. There is a chance the creator will reshare your work on his/her story. FREE PUBLICITY!

  4. Or if not all of this at least you get one new set of eyes watching your video!

  5. Oh, did I mention, you also learned a ton of new things because this creator might have used some techniques that you didn't even imagine existed.

I personally can say that most of my highest viewed videos were actually copied from other creators. What does that do to my name? Nothing really. I became a much better editor than I was before and I did come up with concepts of my own that I wouldn't have thought of if I never knew certain techniques that I learned from recreating other people's work!

I see that as a win!

Things to keep in mind while you copy others!

  1. Give credits where it's necessary. By giving credits the "copying" becomes "Inspiration".

  2. Try to really understand what the creator did and if you still don't understand, reach out to the creator (worth a shot) or go on youtube to seek a tutorial for that particular effect you want.

  3. Whenever you recreate someone's work always try to add your touch to it. Make it your way!

  4. See it as a learning opportunity.

These days if anyone asks me how to start to learn to edit, I always ask them to start by recreating a video by their favorite creator. Maybe try to recreate the same video that inspired them to start learning how to edit. But do start small.

As you keep recreating other's work by adding your touch you'll slowly but surely start to discover your original style.

Originality comes with experience, not just ideas.

Don't wait to get that one original idea that you'll make. Just do something but keep doing it.

And I feel this is the best way to learn! By doing! By copying! By recreating!


This one was a very creator-centric blog per se but I am sure this can be applied by anyone in their day-to-day life. I hope you learned something from it and would seek "doing" over anything else.

I'll see you all next week!

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