33. Being “Different”

Remember in high school when it was the cool thing to do, to be different?

The funny thing is, while everybody was busy ‘being different,’ we were actually doing the same thing in spite of ourselves. I recently read a long, tedious passage for class about plagiarism, and how artists’ interpretation of plagiarism is different then most of us would think.

The basic premise of this article, and what our class discussed, was the disappearance of ‘Original’ work, and the importance of ‘Authentic’ work. Like the quote from Jarmusch, it has become almost impossible to create absolutely original work! We naturally absorb and produce work that is reflective of the culture that we belong to, it is natural to do so.

This is very relevant to anyone who works in or is interested in production based industries, where you ‘make something’ for a living. We are all sponges, and it is impossible not to leak out a little of what we have absorbed into our ‘original’ work, a good example is Star Wars.

You can imagine my horror, perhaps the very same horror that you are experiencing now, at being told that Star Wars is basically a collaboration of all of the movies George Lukas had seen in his day, but WAIT JUST A MINUTE!

It doesn’t matter where Lukas got his inspiration, the important part is what he did with the material; created a ground-breaking new work of science fiction that have become some of the best loved and well known movies in the history of film.

I have since forgiven Lukas, and I am frankly a little relieved that I am not expected to create original masterpieces every time I set pen to paper, or fire up my WordPress Blog.

“The insistence for something new is so unoriginal. It’s tiresome” – Elaine Sturdevant, Famous for copying artists like Warhol to the T, even using the same screen that he did to screenprint a copy of his works.

So the next time you are making something ‘new,’ and wondering if you hid your sources well enough, or if your creative juices are not flowing, just remember, “Its not where you take things from, its where you take them to”

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