The Jeet Kune Do of Art


Use what works for you when creating. You can imitate older forms if you must, but eventually, to make something new, you'll have to appropriate other forms.

Every art form that appears new is an accretion of countless others. Ripping off one person is plagiarism. Ripping off ten people is originality.

Take the novel, for instance. It started out in an awkward narrative mode because its only example was epic poetry. It was comprised of letters, diaries from characters, and first hand news reports. The novel leveled out and soon a common standard was imposed on narrative. After a while, these same older methods were introduced back into the novel as means of experimentation.

Use everything that works and throw the rest out. If you try to be too conventional or go out of your way to be unlike anything anyone has seen, you may miss the potential of what can be accomplished with balance.

Don't worry about the style beforehand. The style will take care of itself when you focus on delivering what you have to communicate in the clearest way you can