“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
As I opened my stickies application to brainstorm post ideas, I ran into this quote that I saved a while ago. I don't even remember when I saved it, but I have had this habit of writing down or saving quotes that I find interesting since high school. Things I hear on t.v., from people, from books. I even have a sticky note on my computer at work that says "So you want the golden egg and you want the goose too?!," which a co-worker of mine said randomly one day and I loved. He looked at me crazy when I spun around and reached for my sticky pad and a pen and immediately wrote down what he said, but it was definitely worth it. What's another person looking at me like I'm crazy, anyways? It's always nice to happen upon those lost quotes when I least expect it, like a little gift from my past self. And the timing on this one is perfect as it helped me with one of my biggest concerns about starting this blog: originality.
The are so many blogs. How do I make mine different? How do I stand out? And, how do I make sure I'm not coming off like an unimaginative, copy-cat who just decided to have a blog one day? Well, I think the last line, the quote within the quote, is the perfect answer. Everyone takes inspiration from other people, it's inevitable. We are constantly surrounded by stimuli, especially those of us scouring the blogosphere, and we are constantly taking in others' ideas and artwork and processing them. From there, the most authentic thing I can do is to decide for myself what I like and run with it; not just regurgitate current trends, but the little pieces from here and there that resonate with me. Then see where I end up. Instead of trying to hide the fact that I didn't come up with every single idea myself, I can draw lines between things that interest and inspire me that may not have been drawn before. Be the unique link between ideas that otherwise would have been floating around exclusively had I not tethered them. So, though I may not be the most original person you ever met, I will always keep it authentic.
What do you think? Too much fuss about nothing? Easy way out? Do tell.