I've been having a thought...

MacAvity's picture

I just realised this recently, when thinking about what I might do as a Final Project for my English class when the time comes to it - the assignment is basically just 'do something English-related and have it actually be a significant accomplishment.' I realised, I don't create things, or even try to. I work with what already exists. I can analyse what already exists, or replicate it, or improve it, or pick it apart, or observe it, or what have you, but not build something entirely new.

I do not create art, all I do is replicate something that is already there, whether it be a photograph, another painting, some real object I see or have seen. And in replicating I can change it, a little, make it better or worse or just different or just more my own, but always the mold is there.

I do not have my own opinions. I agree or disagree with those of others - often in unusual combinations, it's true, but always the idea is expressed by another first.

I do not write poetry, I read it, memorise it, perform it, analyse it, transcribe it. I would like to make a book of poetry, make it from paper and leather and thread and glue and ink and paint and gold, and fill it with all my favorite poems and lyrics, calligraphed and illuminated. Every page and every stitch and every letter of it mine... but not a word original.

Everything I do is from instructions, predetermined, like the how-to-assemble booklet in a Lego set. It's all been done before, maybe not quite the way I do it, but the best I can do is make variations, or mistakes.

And I'm kind of okay with that. Kind of. What others have done before me is better than what I could do alone; it is as well that I should imitate and appreciate it. Perhaps I can even appreciate well, better, maybe, than some can. I don't know. I don't mind. There's a lot already in the world, a lot I don't know and don't understand and haven't seen yet, there's enough in the world already without me or anyone adding anything new.

And I wonder if everybody else does this too.


lonewolf678's picture


I can honestly say this about my guitar playing. That I can memorize a song, perform it, and analyze it. But the piece although Anonymous or signed it'll never be mine but I add arpeggios, pull offs, hammers, and many other variations to the piece.
It is almost an art to me that we can improve upon and recreate something because a little bit of our creativity is added.

funnyflyby's picture

I feel the same way...

But here's a way to think of it: like the theory of evolution. You have something, and it mutates verrry slightly. Something else mutates that verrry slightly. And so on and so on, until you have something almost-but-not-quite completely unlike what you started with.
I'm not sure that's how I think it is, but I'd certainly like to see it that way. It makes sense.
(I just realized how incoherent this comment is. Oops.)

625539's picture

oh, no one creates anything

oh, no one creates anything anymore
we're all false, ideas hardly exist
people are lucky if they get one true idea in their lifetime.

and if i may i will pull out one of my favorite words :
a copy without an original

seems to define art in general, no?