Last year I wrote an article about how artists often base their ideas on work of other artists. The saying goes that we need to steal like an artist to progress. Is all art a remix of what has gone before us? Where does creativity come from? Are we really creative or do we simply rehash things and call them our own? If so is this enough?
These questions may trouble some while others shrug and get on with creating what they want to. Would someone who does not get exposed to any outside influence still come up with creative ideas and works? Personally I think we are all inherently creative, but there is a critical factor that we all need. The spark.
As Bruce Springsteen says - you cannot light a fire without a spark! I suspect that we learn very early on what that spark is. We know for example that we love praise and attention. This is normal from a very early age. Our childish drawings were praised and encouraged. We saw this happen to others around us and we wanted it too. We knew that we could get love from doing something creative! Plus we enjoyed this creativity too as a process.
Moving on as we get older we know what works for us and what does not. At some point many drop artistic endeavour since it becomes risky. As soon as we feel art can lead to embarassment or those we look up to no longer value our art then we will drop it.
Those artist who keep at their work are learning from other artists all the time. This can be deliberate or by assimilation, but mostly both. There is no other way. Art is about creating and sharing. Art that is never shared and remains locked away is irrelevant to the world. We can accept that only by reworking influences on our creative nature into our personal expression can art progress. Only by sharing this new work with the world can others receive and assimilate the work.
The human condition is a common experience. Art is the expression of the human condition and everything is linked in some way. Create something beautiful and share it. It is our human nature and we cannot resist it.
Check out this TED talk by Kirby Ferguson that provides great examples of the remix of art by some famous artists and designers.