Great Artists Steal: Creative Video Techniques

“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” is one of those quotes that’s usually attributed to someone (Picasso, in this case), but isn’t really theirs. Which is a bit ironic, given the subject matter of this particular quote.

Regardless of its origin, this quote offers valuable creative wisdom. It speaks to the role of inspiration in the creative process.

Copying another artist’s work is easy. All of the decisions have already been made by another artist. The act of copying requires no thought, just some technical skill.

To steal, however, is far more difficult. Stealing goes beyond imitation: it requires the artist to understand exactly why each decision was made and what the desired outcome was. It asks the artist to look into the creative “guts” of a work and see why that thing works. It’s far messier and far more illuminating.

There are some truly awe-inspiring advertisements and corporate campaign videos that we at Tribe Pictures wish we had made first. Apple and Nike come to mind.

Whenever you see a video that you love, it’s important to ask yourself, “Why did this work for them?”

  • Why did this company decide video was the best medium to tell their story?
  • Who was their target audience, and did it make the intended impact?
  • Which elements made an emotional connection, and which didn’t?
  • How can I steal their process and make it my own?

By analyzing another artists creative process, you just might find your own creative path forward.

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