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Thread: stolen art

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    stolen art

    picaso said "bad artists copy, great artist steal". my question is what is the difference and how do u tell? i mean a copy is a copy plain and simple but how do u steal art? unless he means it literaly....

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    The Fortress of Solitude
    Thanked 39 Times in 27 Posts
    "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." It's referring to taking bits and pieces of a predecessor or contemporaries work and molding to fit your voice in your own work, without imitating. It sometimes can be a thin line for many artist because they don't know how to step beyond their inspiration's footprint, but lot's of the greats pull it off quite well. take any artist you like and look at there influences and see if they have "borrowed" or "stolen". Somethimes that can be a thin line, but the important thing to remember is if you are still staying true to your voice.
    If you look like a knock off of James Jean, a great, for example, you become good at doing James Jean. This handicaps you for many reasons: a) you haven't done all your research and don't know how he got to where he is, b) you'll always be one step behind him, and most importantly c) your silencing your own voice, and your borrowing. Whatever you take goes back to James Jean, leaving you with nothing of your own. BUT, if you do your research and discover one of James Jean's influences is Arthur Rackhum for instance, you can see in a sense how he got to where he is, what he carried over from his predecessor, and how he made it his own. Then you might discover something you like that got lost in translation, or better yet you might look at Rackhum's influences and be taken into a different direction. Of course I'm sure he (Jean) has many other influences, but this is an example.
    Just remember to nurture your work with the history of art, and let it grow into it's own. Good luck!

    - Visions
    Last edited by Mr. Visions; July 10th, 2007 at 02:45 AM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Thanked 22 Times in 18 Posts
    The way I see to "steal" is to reverse engineer the work and find out what works and what doesn't. If you copy Van Gogh, for example, yeah sure you'll look like Van Gogh (like what Visions said about Jean). But look closer at his work: what makes Van Gogh stand out? Look at his drawings, he is mad good in using textures to explain a tree or the sky or a field. Now you go outside and you try his technique. Maybe you don't like his curvy style so you put your own spin on it, go a little more rectilinear or something. Anyway, "stealing" is like copying, but you're using your head at the same time.

    "Creativity is hiding your sources." -- Rein*Hagen

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Thanked 1,452 Times in 259 Posts
    Why take Picasso's words as the ultimate truth? He could be wrong.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    steal as in "learn from others".. not just copy Mr. Visions explained it.
    :The lights on but nobody's home:
    :Ink Sketchbook:
    "See... I can get you what you want, I can. I can get you anything, you just have to talk to me, you have to trust me. You can trust me, 'cause I'm your priest, I'm your shrink... I am your main connection to the switchboard of the soul. I'm the magic man... Santa Claus of the subconscious. You say it, you think it, you can have it."

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Thanked 39 Times in 20 Posts
    Mr. Visions nailed IT.
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Thanked 16,685 Times in 5,021 Posts
    You're all making Picasso say what you want him to have said.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Thanked 124 Times in 68 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    You're all making Picasso say what you want him to have said.
    yeah! dude, my grandmother loves picasso!

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