November 22, 2013

Creativity- Steal Like an Artist

Today I'm going to talk about how to steal like an artist. By artist I mean more than visual artists, really it applies to anyone who wishes to be creative.

There is this large misconception when it comes to creativity. Many people believe that to be creative, that means being highly original. The problem with that line of thought is NOTHING is original. I mean really EVERYTHING anyone creates is the result of everything to which they have been exposed.

A commonality  amongst most creatives is they are natural born collectors. Not to be confused with hoarders. Hoarder collect indiscriminately, artists are selective about what they collect. The thing is these collection are not just things. They're ideas, artists collect ideas they might come in the form of a quote, an element of a story or an image. We collect them and THAT is where creativity comes from. It's the unique take of all the data you have ever consumed and what you did with it. How you made it your own.

Bob Dillion, Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso and T.S. Eliot were all thieves in this way. They accepted it as truth and ran with it. They are considered some of the most creative people of their times.  When you to accept that art is thief it opens up a new world of possibility.

You'll look at the world differently. EVERYTHING you come in contact with is up for grabs. Does this thing have something worth stealing? If so catalog it and keep your eye open for the next thing. If not move on and find the next thing you can steal.

All art is thief but not all thief is art. Remember the artist vs. Hoarder? Steal selectivly, steal from many, honor your source material, credit, transform it (make it your own, and mix it up. While art may be theft, not all theft is good.

So get out there and steal (in the good way not the lame way).

and remember:

Go buy Austin Kleon's book  Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.

Here are some videos too!


It's not Magic. It's work.


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