How to Be Inspired but Not Be a Thief

Being inspired is a part of creative expression in all mediums. We are all inspired by different people and things, but when are you no longer inspired and instead just stealing? There’s a process to understanding how you should take inspiration and apply it to your own work. Once you find that line, you can be more comfortable in finding inspiration.

Dissect What You Like to Its Simplest Form

It’s all about being able to take those elements you love the most, simplify them to their most minimal form, and apply them to your work.

What I love about this is the posing. If I were to be inspired by this, I wouldn’t take this exact pose. I’d take the idea of creative posing and do something different.

The problem some people have is they’re taking whole concepts, not elements of an idea. Some people will say: “I didn’t steal the idea; I took the red hearts over the model’s face and made them blue!” That’s not enough. You need to be able to break a photo down to the incredibly specific elements and then understand how you can use those for yourself.

The Why Method

When you’re breaking down elements, just keep saying: “why do I like this, why does this work, what makes this work” until you’ve broken down what is inspiring you to the smallest elements. It’s kind of like when you’re explaining things to a toddler and they just keep saying “why” to every response; just do this with a purpose.


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