As a friend of mine and I were going over the books in his collection. He was moved to tell me, “everyone ‘steals’ something from somebody. That is what art is. It is only wrong when you take it and fuck it up.”
Art is literally inspiration. We create things, to move our listeners, or our viewers, or our fans. I may not have been doing this for a long time. But I have been talkin shit for a loooooong time. And to get messages, telling me “I love how you get me!” Or “you inspired me to be comfortable in my skin!” And my favorite, “you remind me that even in this era that we are in, there are genuine people left.” Yes, I have a very unfiltered way of going about things, but the point is to move people. Remind them that they aren’t alone! That’s what we all want right? Someone that, gets us.
Art can be the make-up you apply every morning. It can be the music you create, or the shoes you customize. Your art is your expression.
Let us not completely disregard “theft”. Yes, there is a line between theft and inspiration. It’s a thin line, but there’s a line nonetheless. If someone is moved enough to share their ideas with you, it doesn’t mean they were telling you to run out and do them. But then again, where’s the expiration date on how long to wait until the listener decides to move in on the idea. Right? I mean, because let’s be real. A lot of ideas are usually just conversation. Just brainstorms that sit in the think tank for years if not forever. Should there be a designated amount of time to wait before someone else runs with an idea?
And even if they do thrive, that’s the beautiful thing about art. Everyone can be doing the same exact thing, but do it in entirely different ways! 3 artists can have identical content, but 3 completely different forms of delivery. One has exceptional stage presence, number 2 has strong fan interaction, and number 3 chops on beats! Again, content all the same, even beat selection! But they all bring their own attributes to the artist they ARE.
You know what, I am going to compile a handbook of artist ethics. A 2017 Edition, and leave it for community contributions. But the moral of this story, art is up for inspiration. It is here for us to re-vamp and make our own. And at the end of the day, your conscience will guide you through the process. Not on no Jiminy Cricket shit, but it will. Sometimes it needs to be a conversation, and sometimes it doesn’t. Be conscious of the company you’re keeping and the people you speak your ideas around.