Three things I learned from “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon : Thing One “All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.”
By Clarence Stone Wednesday, October 09, 2013, 02:40 PM EDT
Every artist is bound to hit a plateau in the pursuit of their passion. If you’re anything like me, you will start to feel like your work is all too ordinary, but when you dig deep for new inspiration it starts to feel too much like a cup copy effort of your hero. I was eventually challenged with the thought of where to draw the line between a simple remix and pure plagiarism.
The greatest news is knowing that this is something that all artists tackle on a day to day basis. It was pleasant to see Austin Kleon the writer of “Steal Like an Artist” make an appearance on Chase Jarvis Live to talk about this.
Steal Like an Artist with Austin Kleon | Chase Jarvis LIVE | ChaseJarvis
Austin Kleon’s book is a wonderfully written, and motivation novel for artists who are facing this creational conflict. The first portion of the book helps you understand that all art is derivative.
“We make art because we like art. We’re drawn to certain kind of works because we’re inspired by the people doing that work. All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.” – Austin Kleon
Beyond the “stealing is good”, “imitation is the surest form of flattery” sentiments, Austin’s manifesto isn’t just a justification for stealing art but a well written lesson on doing it like an artist. You might still be saying, “Stealing is stealing, no matter which way you cut it!”. But the evolution of art always comes from something. It’s from what Austin dubbed “good stealing”, it is not achieved by stealing the work themselves but rather stealing ideas about what the artist maybe thing, or what the artist was trying to portray.
If we are truly a combination of the five people we spend most of our collective time with, we are a combination of the five creatives that influences our art the most. Knowing who these people are can help you develop an artistic genealogy of remixes and collaborations that would never have excited without you.
I find the “Mona Oh Mona” Pinterest board to be a great example of how well great artist are able to walk this thin line. Each of these renditions of Mona are unique to the styles that each artists chose to fuse. It takes a creative to put the work of George Lucas and DaVinci in the same canvas.
So in closing. Do as the masters do. Don’t be shy. Take inspiration, give credit, and make something new all the same time.
Clarence Stone : COO and Co-Founder of 30 Second Showcase and a front end web designer and photographer. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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