Saturday, 12 January 2013

Art is theft*

For Christmas I received a book about the creative process: Steal like an artist. It is Austin Kleon's collection of advice - 10 of them, beautifully presented - on how to be creative. Stuff he learnt the hard way, and wishes he had been told when he was 19, basically. It's interesting because it doesn't only apply to the art world. Definitely useful for brand valuation too. 

The two things he says I loved - and agree with! - were:
-Steal like an artist. In my school, they call it "research, research, research".  Good to know that even in the art world talent is nothing without hard work. 
A few quotes about that: 
"Steal from anywhere than resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination" Jim Jarmusch
"What is originality? Undetected plagiarism" William Ralph Inge
"The only art I'll ever study is stuff that I can steal from" David Bowie
-The second thing is that apparently being angry and curious is a good thing (that's hidden in the book, you need to read it through too see that). Being angry pretty much all the time, I say this is a good thing (James disagrees)

He also suggests to write fan letters to the artists you love, so I am going to write to Lena Dunham.

Another book about the creative process, more detailed, is Julia Cameron's The Artist Way. Basically, it's the creatives' self-help bible. It's not only that she used to be Scorsese's wife or wrote for Miami Vice**. She also worked a lot with blocked artists and created a "path to become unblocked". 
She had two great tools, the morning pages and the artist dates, that are detailed here. Yes, it looks all spiritual and hippie but it works!

*It is not me who says that, it's Picasso. 
**1 episode - apparently she then made enough money to independently finance her movie "God's Will"...

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