The Business of Creativity: Art & Copy
As an interesting follow-up to my previous post, I stumbled upon the trailer for Art & Copy (via @DeePhunk over at Trees For Breakfast) that raises similar questions about the business of creativity. The trailer opens with the following quotation: “The frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a ‘creative person’ is that you have absolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from really and especially you don’t have any idea about where they’re going to come from tomorrow“. I would agree that inspiration escapes easy explanations in that it is often a combination of disparate elements. In truth, this idea further complicates our understanding of “intellectual property” when artists or ‘creative people’ cannot even identify or trace the genealogy of their ideas or inspirations. I would contend his use of “absolutely” simply because it relegates creativity to a kind of whimsicality that feels hokey and cliche. Also, I’m never comfortable dealing in “absolutes” (I know it’s just a word but still…). However, to bring it back to the so-called “coincidences” of The Blueprint 3 and Death of Autotune, we are dealing with specific sources in which a collection of established artists identify their work in Jay-Z’s milieu of inspiration. And so, if the various elements that make up The Blueprint 3 are indeed traceable to other artists, is there not some kind of responsibility to recognize said artists (without whom the album cover would not exist in it’s current form)? I suppose what perplexes me about these messy Industry situations is how often “creative teams” pass up the opportunity to collaborate across genres and disciplines with the artists they so shamelessly “borrow” from. Why not reach out to Frank Olinsky and together brainstorm an interpretation of the Secret Machines cover that’s relevant to Jay-Z? I guarantee Olinsky would’ve been down. Some may dismiss me as “naive” and argue “it’s not that easy” but if we continue to feed into the unapologetic dog-eat-dog model, what will be left besides our bruised and throbbing egos?