there comes a point in every artist’s life when constipation takes charge, a creative constipation. words cease to flow. music denies composition. things fall apart.
how to cope up with such a dreadful situation? well, it’s quite easy. it’s called the art of copying. your creativity does not completely vanish from the scene here. it simply starts working on a sub-level. you now have to be creative in stealing.
for example, watch this video where the storytellers describe how you can make a tarantino film by creatively stealing from the vast world of already existing cinema:
didn’t i tell ya? it’s so freaking easy. go move thy ass now, and get hyperactive at stealing stuff in an artistic way.
here are a few excerpts on creativity from theartofcharm.com:
“Stop worrying so much about where your inspiration is coming from and just create.”
“People think that authors are writing exactly what they know, but I think a lot of times, authors are writing what they’re trying to figure out.” -Austin Kleon
The biggest hurdle to creativity is when people think they have to be original. If you accept that nothing is completely original and all creative work builds on what came before, it frees you up to start embracing influence instead of running away from it.
The reality is, after thousands upon thousands of years of human history, the likelihood of truly creating something entirely new out of the space between thin air and genius is slim. We’re influenced by what’s come before, and we independently arrive at conclusions that have almost certainly crossed the minds of at least a few among the billions of others who have walked the planet.
The biggest problem faced by people who aspire to create is when our culture’s emphasis on originality paralyzes them before they can even begin. These people may even take drastic measures to avoid being influenced by existing work in an effort to create something purely from themselves. But few — if any — masterpieces arrive from the ether.
“You’ve got someone like [Quentin] Tarantino, who’s one of our greatest filmmakers, and pretty much all of his movies are just…each scene is like an homage to another movie, but then it makes this whole that’s just Tarantino, right?”
Most of your favorite artists are shameless thieves, and will freely admit it. In other words, they don’t get bogged down by the fear of not creating something entirely from themselves — they observe what’s come before, learn from these influences, and adapt the work to suit their needs.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to design a car. But where do you draw the line when it comes to being influenced by something that someone else has done and avoid ripping it off to the point of plagiarism?
“When it comes to making your own work, I really think it’s all about the transformation,” says Austin. “It’s all about…are you taking other people’s ideas and are you doing something new with them? Are you rearranging them in some way that adds value to them — that adds value in the wider culture?”
“So if you’re scraping someone’s article and reposting it on your blog without credit, that’s crappy stealing. But if you’re taking their article that they wrote and you’re adding your own two cents and then you’re adding a half dozen other voices that you’ve cobbled together into a new piece, then that is something new.”