The single most important value of art is the ability to create a permanent image in the mind of our audience. That is a tremendous power to have; with that power, come responsibilities.
Having such tremendous power, artists should be conscious of what they wish to do with it, the message they wish to convey, and whether or not that message is getting across.
I believe that almost everything has "already been done before"; therefore, we should not concern ourselves with being innovative, or original, but rather, being true to ourselves.
Being concerned with whether or not our art has been done before, whether or not we are "re-inventing the wheel" only drives us away from being true to ourselves.
"Thinking outside-the-box" does not mean going against the conventions of society in general; it means being objective.
Sometimes "thinking outside-the-box" implies thinking outside the box of the "Art-world".
We should be conscious of all the rhetoric in the Art-world. Should we choose to buy into it, it should be because it truly makes sense to us after analyzing it from an objective point of view, and not because it is a trend.
We sometimes say that art is the "universal language"; but, it isn't if it can only be understood within our community. It must also speak to the artistically-illiterate for it to be universal.
Art doesn't HAVE to be "universal", but we, as artists, must be aware of who our intended audience is, why we do what we do, and, if we talk about our art, we must do so without hypocrisy, without rhetoric, and without pretense to seem "cool".