Inventing Versus Re-Inventing

Las Meninas

I used to really get hung up on this, that is, really trying to come up with some creative project/thing that the world has never seen before and that will make me/them instantly rich (and famous).

But, in actuality, most of the wealth created created in the world comes from the reinvention of an existing product or service. Nothing could be more true than in creating art.

Creativity itself is really more reinvention than invention anyway. It’s not something that is just yanked out of a black hat. It doesn’t come from nothing. It’s the art of combining existing elements into new wonderful combinations.

Even Mozart said, “I never wrote an original melody in my life” – He just re-interpreted old fold melodies he heard in his childhood.

One of the most brilliant artists ever, Picasso, was a classic reinventor. He figured, heck, why not USE the rich art history who came before him to totally create new, stunning visual interpretations.

And Picasso knew this. Take a minute to meditate on the wisdom in Picasso’s famous quote: “Bad artist copy. Good artists steal.”

For example, look at Picasso’s reinvention (see above) of fellow Spanish baroque painter Diego Velazquez (1599-1660) This was Picasso’s version of Velasqueze’s famous painting “Las Meninas”

Another example is Manet’s famous painting “Luncheon on the Grass” and Picasso’s re-interpretation of it below.

Manet - The Lunch on the Grass

Picasso after Edouard Manet

So how can we use this concept of reinvention as artists and creatives?

Well, if you’re struggling with what to create, then maybe make a list of your own passions. Say painting, Picasso and pointillism. That would be a pretty easy one or sculpture, found materials, bright colors and politics. Make it a game – have fun seeking out these combinations.

What about your studio? Maybe reinvent that. Nowadays, many artist are having live feeds into their studio so patrons, collectors and just interested fans can see them creating live. What about adding a question and answer period at a certain time and maybe include a painting raffle. What about a radical caring for the customer? The combinations are endless. (email me and I can help you brainstorm)

You can do this with anything. Creating is about energetic re-combinations. It’s not about being the the sole-inventor or the true original.

And the beauty of this is that these new combinations will set you apart. No one seems to want to do a quality job with anything nowadays. We see it everywhere. So to re-invent a art product/service to the public, all you have to do is be really conscious of what other people are not doing.

2 Responses for “Inventing Versus Re-Inventing”

  1. Hi Doug, I love your blog, Straight forward and insightfull. I have been taking up the brushes recently and feel reinvigorated with art. I’d love to see what your working on and share my latest. Gearing up for the golf season as well. Talk soon, Tom

  2. doug says:

    Thanks Tom! yeah, it’s been fun to do. Getting ready to launch a much bigger online art association – will keep you posted. So what type of work are you doing now?

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