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I would caution to seek originality not for the sake of being original, but to seek originality for the sake of being yourself.

I think most aquascapers outside of Asia are still getting the basics down. This aspect of the hobby is still in its infancy. The question of originality and the advancement of 'American' style and the creating of something non-Amano comes up every year. Folks, each aquascape takes six months to a year to develop. To create a good aquascape, one has already had plenty of practice beforehand in some way shape or form.

Aquascaping as an art form has advanced incredibly fast in the past few years --it has been less than a decade for most countries. What can we expect? A fully diversified art form with impressionism and realism and modernism? Styles that took years to develop. I guess we are simply an impatient lot and want everything now.

By all means, continue striving for original impressions. It'll happen with practice, planning, and luck. However, remind yourself every time you see a mound scape or a riccia carpet or a driftwood arrangement how much work that person placed into that aquascape. I reommend looking more closely. Perhaps "aquascape overload" is causing many to overlook and underappreciate many of the details.

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