Great Artists Steal

“Sometimes the simple rhythm of typing gets us from page one to page two. When you begin to feel your own words, start typing them.” – Finding Forrester

Art is a selfish endeavour. The words we write for ourselves are always the ones who matter most to everyone around us. The words that strip our soul naked. The words that we’d like to burn the moment they find a home on a piece of paper. The words that we can barely read aloud.

But what happens when someone else writes the words you wished to have written? Words that you couldn’t have written, but you didn’t. Words that describe the shape of your heart as perfectly as such flawed instruments can do?

Quite the dilemma.

But what about a painting? A song?

What about all the things that speak to you in ways other mortals cannot comprehend?

What is there to be done with them? Admire them? Share them on Instagram?

Is beauty only to be admired from afar?

What if the beauty we steal from others will help us create beauty too?

We’re not talking about bankrupt artists plagiarizing others. Those cannot be helped. We’re talking about the man who is inspired by a one-liner, by a painting, by the way someone described the sky on a summer night a hundred years ago.

All great artists steal, whether they like to admit it or not. They steal from real life all the time. The way someone walks, or the way they talk, the way a city sluggishly falls asleep. They steal all that from the world we live in to help them create a new world.

Art doesn’t come out of nothing, which is the thing artists who cannot create don’t seem to understand.

Art doesn’t not magically appear on a screen or a canvas if you look inward. You must shift your gaze outward. There’s a bit of art everywhere you look.

9 thoughts on “Great Artists Steal

  1. I believe that inspiration and theft are different. Now, plagiarism is theft, while inspiration of one work to another is just that…inspiration. I have not found a fiction author that has inspired me. However, professors and scientists have. The cool and calm manner of writing the truth in solid prose or structured writing helps me deliver my daily messages. I have never before used their words., that would be stealing, plagiarism.


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