Steal like an artist

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Good artists copy, but great artists steal.
Pablo Picasso

In case you were wondering, no, this is not me announcing I'm going to remove the anti-copy+paste code on here or start posting photos from Pinterest. Never. Here's the deal: a while ago, I discovered the webpage for Steal Like An Artist (And Nine Other Things Nobody Told Me) by Austin Kleon. And it painfully confused me.
"What?" I stared the the screen, dumbstruck. "Why is he saying to steal?"

I closed out the webpage and went back to whatever I was doing. Still, those words stuck with me, even though I wasn't quite sure what they meant. Or what they had to do with me or anything I liked. But, just the other day, I understood. Through a saying from a Bible verse: There is nothing new under the sun. No matter what you believe, I think we can agree on that. Everything is a remix, the reloaded version of what came before it. Even me and you. Even this blog, I'm sure.
I don't want to be original. Originality is unoriginal because of the simple fact everyone is trying to be original. I want to be an artist, and I want to steal like one. Because artists don't simply 'steal'. Not in a literal (or illegal!) way. At least, the real ones don't. Artists reverse-engineer, artists remodel, artists start with the foundation of what's there and build up; until you have something completely new (and maybe even a little revolutionary).

Steve Jobs did it. So did van Gogh. And Beyonce.

I think I will too.

xoxo | annika

4 comments :

  1. What a great quote and a good idea. Definitely something to follow. :)

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  2. Yeah, I totally agree with the whole "There is nothing new under the sun" thing. I mean, we all draw inspiration from each-other whether we know it or not.

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    Replies
    1. That saying is one of my favorite things about the bible. Thank you for commenting!

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