Nothing is original yet everything is new and original (Article-1)
“Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal”
– Pablo Picasso
Is there anything like a new idea or is everything a new version of something that has come before?
Where do good ideas come from?
Believe it or not, most of the ideas are some sort of iteration or a new version of something that already exists.
Creativity builds on what already exists, creative people are the ones who can connect the dots in a new way like Stephen Johnson mentions in his book “Where good ideas come from“, -the concept of ideas having sex and producing an altogether a new idea and the resultant idea has certain features of the parent ideas and some altogether new ones.
To understand this concept in a simpler way, think of how children resemble their parents and yet have their own unique identity. Thus, everything which we hear, see, observe or use has been inspired by something already existing.
- The Star Wars Movie is labeled to be one of the most impressive works of imagination. After an investigation, it appears to have taken a lot of its content from 1930’s famous serial Flash Gordon and from that of works of Japanese Director Akira Kurosawa. Audience prefers the familiar things; hence most box office hits rely heavily on existing materials, sequels or remix of earlier films, an adaptation of comic books or animation or mythology.
- The Pirates of Caribbean movie series whose concept was copied from a famous theme park with the same name.
- When talking about sequels, my god! What was different in the 6 sequels of “The Final Destination“? The almost same story, same plot just different characters and little modifications yet all were hit! Right?
- There is a very famous song on YouTube by the name “Eye to eye “sung by a Pakistani singer Taher Shah. Some people say this is the worst song of the century which made it so famous. While some great artists used this opportunity for making parodies of the song which in turn led to a ridiculous music.
- Even Hollywood copies Bollywood, famous Bollywood hit “Jab We Met” is said to have inspired the Hollywood movie “The Leap Year“.
- Henry Ford one of the great geniuses produced Model T automobile in 1908 by combining the techniques of Assembly line and interchangeable parts. This made the production highly cost-efficient and fast. See, assembly line technique started in 1867, interchangeable parts in 1801 and automobiles existed from the year 1885, so what he did was just combining ideas which were already existing to produce something new.
Steal like an Artist!!
Thus, anybody could be a great artist and it does not require much talent. The only thing required is to be a theft like an artist as described by Austen Cleon in His book “Steal like an artist“.
Steve job also encouraged stealing ideas. Before Apple had Launched Macintosh, there was already Xerox ALTO which is regarded as one of the first personal computer and its price was around $10,000. So what Apple did it copied most of its features, modified some of them and brought its cost nearly to $2,500.
And later Apple faced the same to same tragedy when Microsoft copied the Mac and sold them at a far lower price than Mac.
So basically, the concept behind the success of any project is “Dressing something new in old clothes to make unfamiliar seem familiar “.
It doesn’t mean that altogether new concepts and ideas don’t get success, they do get but first, they become familiar.
Finally, nothing is original. If you want to be successful, you must steal and steal like an Artist.