Embrace Your Inability To Be Original, Be A Thief

7 May
Children Breaking into a house via the side window

Be Original, Steal Everything

There is one thing that I learned very early on as a designer and as a person in general; nothing is original. We have never and will never create something that is truly original. All we are able to do is steal from one another and add our own experiences or modifications to whatever it may be. We are all thieves of each other. It’s not your fault, it’s just the nature of the way the world works. Everything in nature steals from each other, and as an artist, so should you.

“Originality is the art of concealing your sources” – Benjamin Franklin

Stealing Isn’t Always Wrong

In order for you to fully understand this, you must place your negative connotations with the word “stealing” to rest. It is simply a word and it means nothing more than the meaning you give to it. Understand that stealing can be both good and bad. Think about it.

Everything that has ever been created is a result of stealing. This pattern repeats its self over and over again in nature. At the atomic level, atoms are constantly stealing protons from one another. When a baby is created it steals DNA patterns from the parents. We wouldn’t have life here on earth if we didn’t steal energy from the sun. Stealing is a powerful and essential part of nature. Different industries try to disguise the fact they are stealing by using fancy or fabricated words to cover up their thieving actions. In the journalism and writing world, they often call it research. In the design world, we often say we are finding inspiration. But in reality, it is just stealing.

“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.” -Steven Wright

Even this beautiful quote was stolen.

Every idea you have ever had is a combination of ideas that you stole from other people or things. What we think originality is isn’t quite right, originality is actually just a new combination/modification of stolen entities.

So now what?

Stealing Ideas Isn't Always Bad

Steal your way to originality

Now you must learn to embrace and utilize your inner thief. Steal from everythingyou can. As a designer, I like to steal from a variety of places that inspire me. I steal from other designs that I love, I steal from TV, I steal from beauty that I see in nature, I steal from my friends, I steal ideas, concepts, and any other non-physical things that I possibly can so that when I regurgitate them they seem to be original.

Be A Thief With A Heart

A child holding up a freshly baked pie with her oversized oven mitts and a big smile.

Give What You Take, Don't Take What You Can't Give.

Keep in mind, that just like in high school, you can only steal so much from one place before you will be accused of stealing or plagiarism. So make sure that you vary the ingredients in your recipe or else people will know they are eating something else that they have already had. Give credit where credit is due, don’t blatantly take a piece of someone else’s pie without asking or giving them a slice in return. Also, don’t become lazy when it comes to creating your own designs, writings, or whatever else you are working on. What I mean by this is avoid just copy and pasting everything you see and putting your name on it, tryto create your own work, just understand that you can’t be 100% original.

I feel like many people will misinterpret this post because they can’t leave behind their negative connotations with the word “stealing” when they read this, but I hope that at least a few of you will understand the true significance of what is being said here.

What are your thoughts on creating original work and stealing from others? Leave your comments below!

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    design. Kudos
    Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to
    start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m
    looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in
    Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to
    let you know. The design look great though!
    Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Kudos
    With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would
    really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my audience would appreciate your work.

    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared
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    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking
    and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and brilliant design.

    Amazing blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a
    paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Bless you!
    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the
    less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!
    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve
    got some creative ideas for your blog you might
    be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and
    I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button!

    I’d definitely donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this site with
    my Facebook group. Talk soon!
    Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using
    WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, great site!
    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa?
    My site goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours
    and I feel we could greatly benefit from each
    other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!
    At this time it seems like Drupal is the top blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

    Great post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte
    more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!
    Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!
    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!
    Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!
    Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good
    platform.
    Hi! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!
    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?
    Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!
    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
    I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?
    Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any
    support is very much appreciated.
    This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog
    (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really
    enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!
    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy
    on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and
    visit more often. Did you hire out a designer
    to create your theme? Fantastic work!
    Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you
    Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!
    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get
    there! Many thanks
    Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about
    creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it
    Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic.

    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My weblog looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. With thanks!
    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll
    go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down
    the road. Many thanks
    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos
    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty
    much the same page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a
    few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its
    a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.
    Heya are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m
    new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Howdy this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I
    wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help
    would be greatly appreciated!
    Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
    of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.
    Any tips?
    Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Cheers!
    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming
    having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Appreciate it
    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
    the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    I’m not sure exactly why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check
    back later and see if the problem still exists.
    Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!
    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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