Growing up as a visual artist, I often used to feel “bad” for having to rely on some type of basis for my creativity. Whether it be looking at a still-life object or googling portions of anatomy, I always needed a little “push” to start working on a painting or a drawing. I would never copy anything that would result in plagiarism, but I did take an idea, switch it around, and add my own unique spin.
Taking an idea (a song) switching it around and creating something entirely new is something that we’ve all come to know as a remix.
The art of remixing is quite popular in music, even to the point in which the remix of a song can often become more popular than the original. So for those who are creating the remixes, are they lacking originality? Is there anything unique about their approach to the song in comparison to the “original” track they remixed?
This question of whether something is original or a “remix” is something that Kirby Ferguson explores in his TED Talks segment called, “Embracing the Remix.” In his brief lecture, Kirby englightens us with the reality that all creativity is a remix, so we must not be hard on ourselves for having derive inspiration from a source. Instead of pressuring ourselves to be 100% unique, we must “embrace the remix.”
Interesting concept…I agree with everything he sheds light on. Instead of being so hard on ourselves, we should understand the creativity with our humanity is often a shared process that derives inspiration from other individuals and muses. Many of the great and legendary individuals within the realms of music and creativity have taken bits and pieces of a source (inspiration) and transform it into something seemingly “new” that makes them notable in their respective creative discipline.
For instance, over a hundred blogs may post the same song, but the writer makes the post unique when they have their own opinion. “Copy, Transform, and Combine.” Those three words are the heart of remixing, and they are also the driving force of most creativity. So don’t be ashamed to derive inspiration from another source. Creativity is a remix, life is a remix, so embrace it…
What are your thoughts on his perspective that everything is a remix?
- 14 brilliant quotes on remixing (ted.com)