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A Different Perspective On Artist Creativity

September 9, 2010

Some common perceptions are that the suburbs lack culture or that artists don’t experience anything “real” enough to have credibility to support their creative ventures. However, the new generation and era rely on recycling and crafting projects in a way that blends prior works of art. There’s a quote by director Jim Jarmusch that reads:

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

I believe that’s true. It’s a new time, and people take in art through so many different mediums that the suburbs have an advantage. And that advantage is to have the power to reach out to these different mediums. In Santa Clarita, we’re so lucky to be so close to anything that we’re looking for: the city, beaches, rural areas, urban areas, and any type of “culture” you want. Anything and everything is at our finger tips.

Whether we like or not, we live in a digital world and everything is based on the Internet (more or less). With the Internet, we live in a time where people borrow from here and there in order to make a video mash-up and post it on YouTube. Everybody becomes a creator by taking pieces from various sources. According to, “There are over 200,000,000 blogs, and 54% of bloggers post content or tweet daily.” In addition to astonishing statistics about social networking, this video reiterates the fact that this present generation understands the world and demonstrates creativity through the internet and social networking.

In addition to that technological talk, DJing is bigger than it has ever been. You do not need to be able to play a single instrument to DJ; you are able to fuse other artists’ music that often swerves in-and-out of different genres.

An example that I can use to support my point is everyone’s favorite person:

Kanye West.

Alright, not everyone loves him. But what I can debate is that he has had one of the biggest influences on hip-hop in our generation. The reason why he is the artist he is today is that he is true to his own style of sampling (using and slightly-altering musical ideas from past-recorded music for production of a hip-hop beat). As an avid listener of Kanye West, I can argue that more than half of his songs have beats that include samples and are easily distinguishable when heard. This YouTube video compiles some of those.

Jarmusch’s quote states that “nothing is original,” but that doesn’t mean that sampling, DJing or any of other type of new-age genres aren’t creative. All of that is creative, and allows for genre-bending and therefore, more musical possibilities.

And the possibilities are endless.

Keep creating, everyone.

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