Occasionally you’ll see me post some stuff here that I’ve stolen. Why? Because there are very few creative geniuses in the world, and the rest of just stand on their shoulders. Here’s a great example of my truly authentic thievery.
I consider myself more of a content aggregator as opposed to a content creator. My gift is being able to remember bits and pieces of just about everything I’ve ever seen in the movies, watched on TV, or heard in a stand-up routine. For people like me, the talent lies in being able to process all of that content, reformat it, rebrand it, and then deliver my version of it with perfect timing and delivery. Even the seemingly original thoughts I post here on my blog are a product of external inspiration, experiences, or even someone else’s ideas altogether. I simply make it all mine in some way that seems original. Just “thought I oughta bare my naked feelings. Thought I oughta tear the curtain down.” (Pink Floyd, The Final Cut) Sorry if that’s a huge disappointment!
So in that spirit, here’s yet another of someone else’s ideas that I’ve co-opted and used to develop my own perspective on life. (Perhaps one can also appreciate the irony of having procured someone else’s perspective, which, in itself includes someone else’s perspective, to express my own perspective.)
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
– Jim Jarmusch
Are you a creative purist or do you think creative geniuses can be completely unoriginal? (Geez, I hope it’s the latter. My entire shtick depends on it.)