It’s all been done before

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.

~ Steve Jobs

There’s nothing new under the sun, after all. So why do we feel like one of the things holding us back is the idea that what we want to do isn’t unique enough? It’s a powerful story we often tell ourselves – it’s already been done before, so we ought not even try.

That project, that book, that business. It’s not unique enough, it’s not special enough.

But that’s just a STORY!

And it’s not true.

  • This week’s artist is – Jeppe K. Ringsted – These floating ink art pieces from all around the world are such a cool concept. I love how he marks each one with the latitude and longitude of where it was created. For even more, check out his website and instagram!
  • Georges Braque would have been 142 on Monday!
  • We can’t match this pencil selection.
  • It’s called chromophobia, this idea in western culture that color is something vulgar, while pure white ancient Greek columns signify an uncluttered mind able to ponder the great questions of spirituality and intellect, said Jill Morton, a color consultant in Honolulu who has spent decades persuading clients to use hue.
  • Are you a growth-minded artist? Alyson Stanfield recently had a podcast episode where she talked about a lifetime of growth as an artist.
  • Durango’s First Friday’s are looking for artists (and venues) to participate.
  • The Live Music Archive is a community committed to providing the highest quality live concerts in a lossless, downloadable format, along with the convenience of on-demand streaming. In 2002, the Internet Archive teamed up with to create the Live Music Archive in order to preserve and archive as many live concerts as possible for current and future generations to enjoy.
  • Check your frames. A perfectly preserved Declaration of Independence was found under a $4 painting. How “unspeakably fresh” was this particular copy? The ink wasn’t yet dry when it was folded into the envelope.
  • This video shares the unboxing of a 400-year-old copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Which is a collection of 36 plays by William Shakespeare that was published in 1623. One of the most influential books ever published, only about 230 copies are known to have survived. The Victoria and Albert Museum has three copies, and in this video, they lead the viewer on a tour through one of them.
  • What’s special about this number?
  • This young man lives on a train.
  • Here’s a stop-motion animation of a samurai fight.
  • We were excited to hear that Gamblin is the first American colorhouse to be B-Corp Certified!
  • What sound does a dog that’s really into art make? He doesn’t bark. He bauhaus.
  • 😎 Fun Fact: Jackson Pollock’s famous drip paintings were influenced by Native American sand painting. He saw these during his visits to the Museum of American Indian Art.
  • Writers & Scribblers is a group for writers of all kinds to learn, practice, and share the art and craft of writing. Tonight at the Durango Library, from 6-8.
  • Also at the library, tomorrow, from 4-5 is Crafternoons (for Adults!) After all, crafting isn’t just for kids! Crafting isn’t just fun, it’s fundamental for mental health, relaxation, and happiness! Come and explore their awesome craft supplies each month. Follow a suggested project or free play and create your own masterpiece! This space is reserved for adults (17+)
  • Don’t miss Beads & Beyond’s Wholesale Gemstone Trunk Show Friday from 10-6. They bring in hundreds and hundreds of strands of all your favorite gemstones at amazing prices. Start planning your projects and go stock up!
  • Lake Nighthorse will open for daily summer operations on May 10th.
  • It’s the Spring Gallery Walk on Friday from 4-7. Organized by the Durango Gallery Association. Twelve Durango galleries are pulling out the stops and staying open late. Stop by The ArtRoom Collective during the Gallery Walk to enter an art basket raffle and enjoy refreshments! Durango has a strong and eclectic presence of art from local, regional and internationally recognized artists. Durango Gallery Association and its members hosts a multitude of monthly events, workshops and shows including the Fall and Spring Gallery Walks throughout the year. Today’s members include The ArtRoom Collective at the Smiley, Azul Gallery, Blue Rain Gallery, Create Art & Tea, Diane West Jewelry & Art, Durango Arts Center, Earthen Vessel Gallery, Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts, Scenic Aperture, Sorrel Sky Gallery, Studio & Gallery and Toh-Atin Gallery.
  • It’s Mother’s Day this weekend. (If there’s one of those in your life, don’t forget!)
  • The Manna Garden is hosting the second Annual plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend. Please support Manna’s effort to grow more fresh, nutrient dense and culturally important vegetables for our community. Their starts were raised using organic and biodynamic methods. Lots of veggie, flower, and herb varieties. They use peat and reused pots only! Heirlooms and hybrids available.
  • Saturday is the first Durango Farmer’s Market of the season at the TBK Bank Parking Lot, from 8-12.
  • Head to Lola’s Place for Board Game Sundays from 2-5:30. Compete in your favorite game or try a new one! Meet new friends and enjoy a taco and beverage! It’s so easy… just show up and they do the rest.
  • Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 at the General Palmer is a Slow Bluegrass Jam. If you know a beginner/intermediate acoustic music player then this weekly jam is welcoming to all players, with a focus on slower tempo improvisation solos and chord changes. If you can play the I, IV and V chords in G, D and A then you know enough to play at this jam!
  • It’s the time of year when there are lots of live music events, open mics, live jam sessions, etc, scattered about the area throughout the week. There are too many to list here, so if you’re looking for such things, head over to
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, the Bayfield Library, Create Art and Tea, the Dancing Spirit Center for the ArtsDurango Sustainable GoodsLet’s Letter Together, the MakerLab, the Scrapbook NookSeed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • It’s exciting to see the different things we get to frame. Innumerous portraits, drawings, original art, movie posters, prints that Rembrandt pulled, couch-sized paintings on papyrus, documents from the Civil War, and recently these newspapers from the Titanic sinking and the moon landing. Do you have something to protect and display? We’d love to help! Schedule your appointment today.

What’s actually wrong with being inspired by something else?

(Copying, not so much. Borrowing inspiration – of course! There’s a whole book about this concept.)

I think it’s fascinating to see what can be borrowed and tweaked. Here are three completely different versions of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. Decidedly the same music – absolutely completely different.

We are all unique enough just being the most true versions of ourselves. So if we work from that place of authenticity, it doesn’t matter if we are part of a pattern, if we’re part of a web. we are all connected and interconnected and inspired by what has come before us.

But our perspectives are utterly unique.

Whether we’re inspired by something new or something well-known – the world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew

P.S. – If you do need to clear out some unrealized creative dreams, our Spring Clean Art Supply Drive is running until Saturday, May 18. Almost everyone has a bin of unwanted art supplies gathering dust in their basement. Whether it be from a project you’ve finished, a ridiculous amount of expensive supplies from college or a sewing kit from a loved one, you’re not alone. Free your burden of creativity past and bring them to the store this month and we’ll pass them on to a nonprofit that will put them to good use, changing people’s lives.