Steal Like an Artist

I'm a strong believer in teaching kids the classics. Pop culture classics that is. Music. Movies. Books. This morning when I was driving my daughter to vacation care presented the perfect opportunity for such an exposure to occur. The familiar do do do do do do intro of the Pixies Here Comes Your Man came on the radio. I turned the volume up to ensure she was fully immersed in the experience. I don't think she enjoyed it as much as I did, but it started my day well.

When I got back to the car the radio presenters were talking about someone doing a cover of this modern day classic for Like a Version. I know people have mixed feelings about covers. Me personally, I typically enjoy them. I enjoy hearing someone's interpretation of something familiar to me, whether I like that interpretation or not. Covers that are direct replicas though (or wanna be replicas) that are just cashing in on a new audience...those I don't like so much.

This got me thinking about Steal Like an Artist, a great little book I read recently by Austin Kleon. In this book, and in others he talks about how there isn't much (if anything) that is completely original these days. Thought, expression, all of it is usually built on bits of things that came before us. And that's not just ok, it should be celebrated. We need to give ourselves permission to take bits from your influences and work them into something new. That's the creative part. That's where the originality lies. Do that and have fun with it. And do it often.