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how to steal* (ethically)

I've been involved in the art scene for 35 years.

One thing I've learned is that it's natural for artists to be inspired by art that already exists...

After all, Picasso once said,

โ€œGood artists copy, great artists steal."

But what exactly did he mean by this?


An example of Picasso "stealing" ideas


NEWSFLASH: No work of art exists in a vacuum.

There is a romantic idea that artists conjure up ideas directly out of thin air.

That's not how things work!

Think of ideas (& art) like Legos.

Because every idea extends from another.

Here are some tips on how to steal, like Picasso:

  1. Be Intentional - Artistically, who do you look up to? Write their names down because they will help provide your North Star. Your goal should be to break down elements that work for them. Seek to understand. Over time, their practices will meld with your ideas. The ultimate goal should be to IMPROVE their work.
  2. Leverage Their Strengths - Pick a mentor's biggest strength that aligns with your biggest weakness. The goal is to improve on ONE idea. Example: IF you want your writing to be more expressive and improve your vocabulary, then read William Wordsworth or Robert Frost. If you want your writing to be more rhythmical, then listen to some of the jazz greats, like John Coltrane. Incorporate what works for them and make their strength YOUR strengths.
  3. Ask Questions - Questions allow an opportunity for deeper understanding. Whenever you read a book, listen to a podcast, or watch a movie, ask yourself, "WHY did this work? What was the ONE BIG idea? What was the most important lesson?" Questions will allow you to develop artistic awareness.
  4. Discuss - Your circle of friends should always discuss ideas that are working. My friends discuss strategy and business and we always share good content with each other. Our goal is to help each other improve. If you don't have a circle, then CLICK HERE and join Masterclass.

At the end of the day, your goal shouldn't be to copy,

Copying is unethical.

Because copying doesn't ADD VALUE.

You don't COPY from others but become inspired.

-> because being inspired by content is just another way of improving the world.

Your goal should be to IMPROVE.

And that IS ethical...

And THAT is a BEAUTIFUL thing.

Much love,

Dino | The Art of Purpose



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