Great Artists Steal

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.”

I’m not talking about plagiarism or copyright. I’m talking about being inspired by the work of other artists… and everything around you for that matter. Your environment, history, and your personal experience.

Professional artists encourage this (they really do!) but it has never been easy for me. I don’t think something is “original” or “creative” unless it (seemingly) pops out from my head. I also compartmentalize a little too well. I work during this time. My personal life goes here. And my writing time is here. If it’s not my writing time I don’t think about what I’m working on. I’d like to change that, so I’ve decided to set myself a new 30 day challenge. To steal something every day. Here’s what I’ve stolen recently.

SOURCE: Newspaper article
SUBJECT: Nepalese sisters running a school for female mountain climbing instructors
IDEA: An instructor is climbing on her own and witnesses something supernatural in the mountains. (Short Story)

SOURCE: Library book
SUBJECT: Ring making
IDEA: A man learns how to weave spells into rings (Short Story)

SOURCE: Newspaper article
SUBJECT: Prison program for mothers that allows them to keep their baby with them
IDEA: What happens when a father requests to keep his newborn baby in his cell? (Novel?)

What will you steal? Where will it lead?

For more on creative stealing, check out The Creative Thinking Hub.

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” For an interested look at the background of this quote click here.


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