“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photos, 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
I think most artists struggle with finding their “place”. Finding something that belongs to them. I do this over and over again, and once I feel like I have a handle on it, I find someone else’s art who is very similar. I have also often felt guilty for looking at someone else’s art and being completely inspired and creating from it. I don’t copy it, but I do take that idea and make it my own.
I have decided to give up the feelings of guilt. I am inspired by everything everyday. A smile, a cloud shaped as a puppy, flowers in full color, bright green grass soft under my feet, the smell of cookies baking. I’m inspired by texture, history, culture, and colors. As an artist, it is my job to translate these everyday inspirations into what it means to me. It’s to take experiences and moments, and turn them into something authentic for myself. It is ridiculous to strive after something original. However, it’s reasonable to take something and own it. To make it authentically ours. This does not have to be limited to art. This can be applied to our lives. Are you living your authentic life?