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Steal like an artist

I recently came across an interesting concept called “The Genealogy of Ideas” while reading a book. The metaphor compares genetics to explain how all creative work is based on a lineage of influences and inspirations.

Similar to how human DNA is a combination of genes inherited from ancestors, our creative work is also a combination of ideas inherited from other artists and thinkers. However, it’s important to note that the idea isn’t to simply copy the work of others, but to build upon it and create something new and original.

The genealogy of ideas is evident in various fields. For instance, in music, a songwriter might draw inspiration from diverse musical styles to create something unique. Similarly, a visual artist may incorporate elements of other artists’ work into their creations.

As a someone working in a creative field, I find this concept empowering. It’s common to feel that everything has already been done before, but understanding that creativity is a collaborative process allows us to build on the ideas of others and create something truly unique and authentic.