The last day or so I’ve been thinking about something I hear fairly often in the online creative spaces I frequent. Whether it be photography, videography or web design.
That statement or concept is this, “steal like an artist.”
There is even a book by that title. While I’ve not read this book, a number of creative thought leaders who I follow and respect, highly recommend it. Perhaps I should read it.
On one hand this concept bothers me. Because the idea of entering into a “creative process” conjures a picture in my mind. A picture of an artist going off by himself and “coming up with something entirely on my own.”
On the other hand I totally get it. And after yesterdays post about how we are influenced by the things around us, I’d have to concede that there really is little that can be created that is entirely “new.”
When I’m working with someone on a website, they almost always give me a list of websites that have implemented some functionality or design concept that they like.
When I go on a photoshoot one of the first things my “subjects” usually do is compile a list of photos they like.
So I guess there is something to be said for “stealing like an artist.” Perhaps I should just embrace it and do more research and stealing!
Oh, and here is a video of the author of the book I mentioned above, Austin Kleon, talking some more about this topic. As long as we are clear on the definition of “stealing” it definitely makes sense.