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Jim Jarmusch on Creativity

This is a quote form filmmaker (and Akron, Ohio native) Jim Jarmusch on the creative process. I think resonates quite well in this participatory, social media kind of world. Creativity is no longer (not sure it ever was) an isolated experience. It is a response to stimuli, to input, to inspiration so get out there and consume as much of life as you can as a foundation.

I always struggled with that when I used to write more creative based things. Originality vs. quality. If you can combine the two, fantastic, but that is the exception to the rule. Most stories have been told, but not necessarily told well. But the ego desires originality, novelty, uniqueness. It is just human nature, at least from a Western perspective. To stand out is to succeed. I just don’t feel this is the case in this iteration of my creative self (ie my 30s). I collaborate and try to build things with others. I love being a part of something. Even if it is only virtual. Either way, here is the quote.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photos, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

– Jim Jarmusch

“It’s where you take them to.” Now that is brilliant. And original. Incidentally, Chrissie Hynde is from Akron as well.

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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