Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thievery gets you everywhere.

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

By way of Wizwow's blog.

This sort of dovetails back into a conversation I had with Morgan a month or so back about certain photos being done already. We were talking about pinup art at the time, but it really translates into many other realms in photography. Take The Red Cloth as an example. My inspiration for that came from an ad within Instyle ... or some other women's magazine. I forget.

As a photographer I look all over the place for ideas and suggestions on what to do next. Heck, at one point I was going through every single photo that came across the Strobist Flickr group stream to see what other people were doing. Alas, I can't do that any longer because of the sheer amount of stuff that comes across the stream now. But the point is, I gather my creativity from seeing what else is out there. Or what isn't out there. You have to pay attention to both.

I take the bits and pieces I like, remix them, and throw them against the wall like spaghetti to see what sticks. Quite a lot doesn't.

I think Jarmusch had it right. Nothing is original. But, the way we cut and whack at those things we pilfer makes them original long enough for someone else to steal. It's the nature of the art.

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