Of, course there are innovative and groundbreaking things out there carved from thin air and imagination.
But for the most part, it's about finding the right mixture of seemingly unrelated things and making them connect in a creative and impactful way.
Being able to hunt inspiration and steal like an artist are special skills. Hacks just copy. Liars plagerize.
But creatives, they seek out new information, stimulus and experiences. They reimagine, not recreate. They build, not bite.
They are conceptual magicians, pulling rabbits out of top hats worn by balloon dogs driving a clown car. Constantly soaking up things the past, present and future of every little thing in life.
Sounds like a lot because it is. Your valve needs to always be set on intake mode. Every life experience, every adventure, every disappointment, every trip, conversation, poster, song, exhibit, dream, movie trailer, YouTube video, tweet, doodle... every little thing around you, is all working together to make you a great creative.
The more you expose yourself to, the better your work will be.
(Read: Go Inspiration Hunting and Steal Inspiration, Not Ideas)
Take these examples of 4 Successful Hunters & Thieves
1. Kehinde Wiley's art merges contemporary and traditional, urban and Victorian, photos and portraits, African American and European, textures and colours, grandeur and the ordinary.
2. Kanye West is also known for merging styles - old school with autotone, punk with hip hop, etc. He is notorious for using a million samples in the tracks he produces. For example, his song Mercy samples 5 different songs (including an old school reggae fav of mine on the chorus)
|Mercy (2012) sampled|
Tony's Theme by Giorgio Moroder (1983) Dust a Sound Boy by Super Beagle (1986) Cuh Oonu by Reggie Stepper (1993) Lambo by YB (2011) Dance (A$$) by Earlly Mac and SayItAintTone (2011)
3. The Johnny Cash Project is a stunning example of how you can build on something that already exists, and create something completely original.
4. Dodge Ram's God Made A Farmer ad from this year's Super Bowl. The copy is an excerpt from a Paul Harvey speech and the visuals are the work of ten different photographers.
My question to you is:
What are you going to merge/mold/reimagine/make?