I wanted to title this post, “Shakespeare and the Beatles stole from their peers, you can too,” but that's a bit long and cumbersome. (And really, it promotes the wrong idea.)
I'm a firm believer that there aren't new ideas. What I do believe in is new ways to share ideas– there's YOUR way of sharing them. Reinvention. Your own personal spin and interpretation. It’s the reason people come to your site after all– for YOUR mark.
Borrowing ideas and reinventing them is what makes art, science, and culture move forward.
Borrowing ideas and reinventing them is what makes art, science, and culture move forward: understanding the ideas of your contemporaries and those that came before you and pushing them to new places.
Shakespeare notoriously borrowed from Christopher Marlowe. So much so, that some historians have wondered if Marlowe wasn't the author behind Shakespeare's plays.
The Beatles were inspired by Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys. And Chuck Berry. Plus many other artists. “Back in the USSR” took inspiration from The Beach Boys’ “California Girls” and Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA,” and John Lennon was supposedly sued for using the first line of Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me” in The Beatles' “Come Together.”
Vanilla Ice borrowed from Queen and Jessica Simpson borrowed from John Cougar Mellencamp, and the list of artists taking inspiration and ideas from those that came before them? It’s endless.
7 Ways to borrow ideas (without stealing):
- Borrow from that Famous Painter…. and translate their art to your outfit.
- Could you write a book in response to your favorite blogger’s recent post? Do it. Then share it on your site instead of in the comments. Back in ye olden days of blogging, we often wrote response posts, and it was a great way to unite the community.
- Recreate your favorite outfits from magazines or television using the items in your wardrobe. How can you reinterpret those ideas based on what you own?
- Mimic a famous photographer’s techniques, but apply it to your outfit photos. High attention to detail and contrasting black and white ala Ansel Adams? How about the soft focus and simplicity of Julia Margaret Cameron?
- Use a line from your favorite poem or book (cited, of course!) to begin a post… and let it move you from there.
- What’s your family heritage? My family is (mostly) British, French, and German. How would you mesh the traditional clothing from your homelands into a fashion forward look?
- Inspired by the stunning outfit that Atlantic-Pacific or Sea of Shoes wore recently? How can you do your own version on a budget? If purchased from a particular store? What about a plus-size, petite, disabled-body friendly version? All from the thrift store? There's endless ways to be inspired, but with your own twist. (Just be sure to say “Hey! This look was inspired by this outfit at this site.” Manners, you know?)
This isn't to encourage you to plagiarize or outright steal another person's work, but to encourage you to find inspiration in the work of others and ask, “How would I do that? What would I add to the conversation? How can I make it mine?” and then doing it.
Many have said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” There are no new ideas in blogging…. just new ways to present the information. Your way.