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  • heelhang


“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, 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


Think of an artist, show, or piece of work that we have found ourselves attracted to because it FEELS authentic. What about that work makes it feel so real to us? 

My Answer:

The artist who never comes up with anything new… but is so honest about it all you see is the performer and not the skill.

Thoughts and Actions:

An authentic you starts with realizing and aligning with your core values. Authenticity means to be true to one's character. It is about sharing your uniqueness with the world and living genuinely. Presenting yourself authentically, especially when in a vulnerable space (like making art), can be a challenge at times.

A big part of being a successful artist is learning… researching… and often resharing what you have learned. Does that make you inauthentic if you share something you have learned from someone else? Absolutely not… we are always doing that… what makes that moment authentic is if when you share whatever that is, you really embody it and preset it with unfiltered personality.

Authenticity is in part the self-awareness to consciously match words to actions. We describe an authentic creator as someone who is present, transparent and unafraid to be themselves. Confidence and authenticity work together to shine a light on who you truly are and showcase it to those around you.

How can be more authentic as an artist?

  1. Remove the Filter. No one wants the filtered version of you. It’s boring. It doesn’t feel. It’s not honest. It’s not real. And we can't connect to something that isn't real. 

  2. Don't over edit. that's where the good stuff is: in the raw, imperfect and messy unfiltered honesty

  3. Don't worry so much about following the rules. Here is the only rule when it comes to art; THERE ARE NONE.

  4. Don't get too many outside opinions. Be sure that you're not changing your message, or lessening your impact trying to please other people.

  5. Create for yourself. Art is meant to be appreciated, but if it isn’t bringing you joy first, it’s not sustainable. 

A big take away question for me from this conversation was… Do we think that when we watch performers who we find to be very authentic, is it because we can SEE and FEEL their values very clearly? I think so.

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