Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"It's not where you take things from- it's where you take them to."

Hope you'll share your thoughts of the subject of 'copying'!

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.
Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."
- Jim Jarmusch"

Ever since I can remember, I have copied! As a child learning to draw, I would study cartoon illustrations and duplicate them to the best of my ability. First tracing...then looking and drawing. For the record, WoodyWoodpecker was my favorite! As teens, my sister and I admired a 'salt dough' Santa ornament at a craft show which my mother bought and took home. Later that night we spent a memorable evening at the kitchen table, copying the original and getting tickled at how different they all looked! As a adult artist I have tried to copy other artists paintings, in hopes of learning how to better paint. And though copying has served it's purpose to increase my artistic appetite, it has not brought great satisfaction. I am seeking authenticity.

Years ago, I came to the conclusion that God was the source of any artistic abilities that were in me and that His creativity was flowing through me, much like water through a garden hose. That my access to His unlimited creativity was hindered only by my ability to connect to Him, the source of supply. He, being the creator of all creation and the aurthor of all originality, invites us to observe, dip or dive into His pool of living water. A never ending source, with unlimited benefits!

I am writing these thoughts today for the first time, to explain why it has rarely bothered me to be copied. Afterall, it is His inspiration, His beauty and His knowledge that moves through me and you. We did nothing to deserve it....it is simply His gift to those who will receive Him...a freely, flowing stream from which anyone may drink. How silly would it be for us to drive a stake in the ground and post a sign saying, 'No drinking! Private Property!' Our attempt to control others will only rob us of personal joy and abundant opportunity!

It is His creativity, moving through our 'God given' indiviualality that makes us unique and one of a kind. I have looked around and 'borrowed inspiration' my whole life. Trying to imitate and re-create...not only art, but the lives of others! But through time and much prayer, I've come to understand that the authencity that an artist so desires, is attainable only when we accept our uniqueness and embrace His.
I welcome your thoughts...


Susan said...

Wow. Beautifully stated, Roxanne. I've never thought of it quite that way, but so true. I can never copy another artist's painting as it turns out muddy. Yet, I can do my own version of reality and it's more clear.

BTW, Vann and I are just getting home - 8:40 p.m. We're getting physical at ARMC's Wellness Center. We'll get together soon. I want you to see inside the inn, too!

lyndsay said...

poweful words Roxy! I couldn't agree more. We are all unique in our own ways and it's important that we embrace that. We have to give up and let God so that our natural gifts and abilities will stream out as God intended.

Nancy Elaine said...

I read your post first thing this morning and it was just the thought provoking words I needed to start my day. HE has blessed you with such wisdom.
Up until a few years ago I would get upset when someone copied my work. Finally, it dawned on me it was the finest form of flattery to be copied. My talents were not mine, but His through me. All those years I wasted my time and energy on such trivial negative thoughts. You know what happened when I made this change? The Lord let me bloom.
Your post today was so well stated. Thank you for reminding us we are all created by Him and to Him give the glory.

Beth said...

Great thought mom...and like we were talking about tonight, even when we try to "copy" sometimes it is our originality that is what people really love! I'm so glad the one of a kind you is my mom!

Halo Hill said...

I've read a lot of posts on this subject, and yours put it beautifully. I totally agree! When I practice something I may try to follow something completely and exactly, and as I learn the technique, that is when it "accidentally" becomes my own work. It flows out of me, blessings. Sometimes that's the way I get inspired again... Copying somethings exactly and then somehow that takes me in a completely different direction... different media, different item altogether, but it was in the process of copying something/someone else that my originality is sometimes renewed!

I would never copy something exactly to make a profit... only to learn while it turns into something completely different. I do it as a road to my own ideas, just like music inspires me, pictures, antiques, flea markets, gardens... it all inspires me to do beautiful things. (And I'm certainly no gardener)!

What a huge blessing!

Hugs, SHeila

You are right on!