Opening creativity, part 2 – Steal like an artist

Have you ever struggled with creativity? Perhaps you’ve felt stuck and unsure how to play some assigned character because you’ve never lived through a relatable experience yourself. Here are six steps for boosting your creativity, and the best thing is you can apply them to your life beyond your acting career. Where should we get our ideas from? Steal them. What? Yes, steal them, but only steal like an artist.

Read more – Part 1. Observe

Part 2. – “Steal like an Artist”

Maybe you have already heard this sentence as it is the title of the New York Times bestseller by Austin Kleon, and his writing greatly inspires me. You can find ten advice pieces to open your creativity, and many quotes and ideas in my articles are from this book. Steal like an artist. As the Bible said, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). It is a big truth; everything created has to be inspired by something that already exists. As the quote by T.S. Elliot, “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal, bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it in something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn.”

What influences you will affect your work. Everything you do now forms and informs you. Imagine your hero is James Dean – you don’t want to play as James Dean, but instead, to feel inspired by him, you want to embody and learn from his ideas, mannerisms, attitudes, portrayals, and experiences to gain the ideas of how to bring to life all of your future characters. You need to see under the surface and accept that you will never be James Dean; you will be you. And that is so beautiful because everybody is unique. You want to steal the intricacies of his work, his schemes, tools, methods of how he managed to really get into the role. And not just on the surface of looks and impressions…


Always go deeper.

James Dean’s idols were Marlon Brando and Jame Whitmore. Study them, learn from them, too, and go deeper. Your mentor or hero’s inspirations are just as valuable as your admirer themself. You don’t want to steal their piece of art. Instead of it, You want to take the idea behind it and run with your own unique and powerful expression.

“If you copy from one author, it’s plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it’s a research.” Wilson Mizner

Continue reading – Part 3. – Review your Day, Every Day

About the author:

I am a never-ending fighter for the perfect ART, enjoying the process of unperfectness. I am many things and nothing, but my main focus is acting. I've studied at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts. I've been an actor in Theater Around The Corner, Moravian Theater Olomouc, Theater DiGoknu, or Mlada Scena II. And I am working hard on my craft.


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