What does it mean to produce original work? I discuss this topic with my new students every year.
That magic moment when we, absorbed by an idea or thought, seem to be dreaming, is sometimes difficult to arise. Somedays inspiration is there, others nothing comes to our mind. Without any warning you shape the perfect idea in your head but turning it into reality may be an insoluble challenge. Every creative feels it every now and then.
The way to overcome these uninspirational moments is to persevere in doing research and work, work, work… because creativity is a process, not a moment.
Chuck Palahniuk once said everything is a copy of a copy. I wouldn't go as far but we all have moments when unconsciously and unintentionally come up with ideas that aren't truly ours. Many result from a combination of what we see, observe, read, experience, etc.
In the sense that nothing is truly original, we can only work honestly and add our personal stamp to the creative process. Because every artist has something that makes him unique.