What makes something authentic?
Did I create a photograph because I felt inspired, or did I make it with the intention of getting more engagement on the internet? Did I capture a moment because I came upon it, or did I stage it because I want to make money? Let's alter the scenario a little; Did I become an actor because I am passionate about the craft, or do I want to be famous, win awards, gain social status and so on? Do I create music because it flows through me fluidly, or because I have a goal in mind that I'm working towards?
To simplify: am I creating with me in mind, or nothing at all?
To me, the intention behind the action determines authenticity.
If we are going into something inspired by human-based desires, such as ambition, greed, material, fame, or power, then we are destined to create work that is bound by time. It falls into the trends of that time, and it fails to pierce beyond the surface.
But if we approach creativity and artistry from a cosmic perspective, that being of love, appreciation, gratitude, wholeness, and selflessness, then we are bound to create work that is timeless. It will live on. It is outside of the realm of time, which means the human thought, with its desires, was not the driving force behind the intention.
So when we find ourselves taking action towards something, we can ask ourselves a simple question: is my intention cosmic or human-based?