Shamelessly Steal from Anything or Anyone Who Inspires You!

A thought when studying Nietzsche: with evolution and animals, they’re ruthless. They “steal” the useful adaptations from other animals, and incorporate these behaviors or attributes to themselves. Which made me wonder– as artists, shouldn’t we do the same?

This is the way I see things:

  1. The ultimate apex of our development is just to focus on making art. Therefore, anything which motivates or inspires us to make art is a good thing.
  2. I often get inspiration from others, nature, architecture, poets, rappers, designers, film directors, children, etc. If I see a good idea that is profitable to me, I’m like Isocrates; I sip of all the flowers with the sweetest nectar which can help me (the art of cross pollination).
  3. Sometimes artists feel shameful to steal ideas or be “influenced” by others. That’s silly. If you’re a war general and you see other armies with a good fighting strategy, of course you’re going to steal the idea! So be shameless when taking ideas which can benefit you. Of course it’s nice to attribute the original author or source of inspiration, but I don’t think it’s always necessary.

Be artistically promiscuous

Don’t feel like you must be faithful to one style, approach or artistic vision. You’re probably gonna live a a long time (into your 80s or 90s). What you want to do with your life is AVOID BOREDOM at all costs!

So never run out of inspiration by stealing ideas from others, as Picasso said:

Bad artists copy, great artists steal.

Never run out of motivation. Some ideas of folks to study:

  1. Study the masters of photography
  2. Study great cinema and directors like Kubrick or Kurosawa
  3. Study great painters, poets and philosophers from the past. I love Claude Monet, Horace, and Nietzsche as starting points.

Have fun with your photographic and artistic process, and cross pollinate as many diverse ideas as possible, to become the ultimate super-artist!


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