When it comes to finding ideas, I always find the best ones already done by someone else. You’ll hear me mutter “dammit, why didn’t I think of that?”
I always had trouble with the thought of copying. As a kid, I traced. But as I fell deeper and deeper into the vast cave of the art world the rule was an outward no-no to rip other artists off. That included tracing, referencing, copying, or being inspired by others. If the idea’s been done before then drop it. This ain’t your territory anymore, back off and find your own idea. It’s as if every original thought is precious and unique, but.. Is it? Is it really?
“Steal Like and Artist” by Austin Kleon opened my eyes on how crucial and okay it is to let other people influence your work. Now I’m not saying find a piece and claim it as yours, but letting something that inspires you make your work flourish. That’s how we get better.
If something interests you, a color palette, a pose, a composition, let that bleed into your work. Nine times out of ten if I’m working on a piece inspired by something else, it never comes out like what sparked my interest in the first place! Don’t be married to your reference though, let it take a breath of it’s own and put your own spin onto it. Allow it morph and transform into something your own. But never be afraid to be inspired. Be inspired the right way, and steal like an artist.
Is there an artist or a piece that inspires you? Share them in the comments below! I’d love to see it!