37 Quotes About Copying Others


In the age of technology, copyright infringement and creative theft happens all around us. These quotes about copying others highlights the lack of originality and frequent nature of intellectual property theft.

“A copying artist should get permission or pay the original artist a fee.”

“A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.”

“A lotta cats copy the Mona Lisa, but people still line up to see the original.”

“Annoyance arises from the feared implication that we are copyists in subject or treatment, or both, whereas the common qualities that establish the relationship result merely from a similarity of method.”

“Be careful that you do not write or paint anything that is not your own, that you don’t know in your own soul.”

“Copying for profit is not artistry. An artist needs to feel the work, see it taking shape, and discover the magic.”

“Copying has been a time-honored means of learning how to do anything.”

“Copying or cloning is not valid because it misses the whole point of art making.”

“Every idea is a juxtaposition. That’s it. A juxtaposition of existing concepts.”

“I wanted to hear music that had not yet happened, by putting together things that suggested a new thing which did not yet exist.”

“If an artist may say nothing except what he has invented by his own sole efforts, it stands to reason he will be poor in ideas.”

“If my students seem to copy me when they are learning, that is good. It shows they are listening and trying to do what I tell them. They will develop their own style soon enough.”

“If you absolutely have to appropriate someone else’s work do us the favour of being a genius and make it say something entirely new.”

“If you are a true artist and not a copyist, no matter how much you covet the work of others, what you produce is going to be uniquely yours.”

“If you have one person you’re influenced by, everyone will say you’re the next whoever. But if you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re so original!”

“If you just copy your subject matter you’re missing ninety per cent of the art.”

“If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research.”

“If you think a man draws the type of hands that you want to draw, steal ‘em. Take those hands.”

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”

“In the grand collage that is Dada, past and future are equally usable.”

“It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

“Lots of people know a good thing the minute the other fellow sees it first.”

“Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself.”

“Once all the technical devices are well learned, it deadens the soul to use those skills to clone the work of others.”

“Once you set out to copy another painter you can never be more than number two.”

“Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The newness in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components.”

“Perhaps one of the most essential exercises in learning to paint is the copying of master works in the museums.”

“Some one may say of me, that I have here only made a nosegay of other men’s flowers, having furnished nothing of my own but the thread to tie them.”

“Sometimes I think everything I draw is just a combination of all of the millions and millions of drawings I’ve seen.”

“The beauty of the collage technique is that you’re using sounds that have never met and were never supposed to meet.”

“The difference between a bad artist and a good one is the bad artist seems to copy a great deal; the good one really does.”

“There is no such thing as intellectual property.”

“They’re building walls faster than we can make original art to go on it. Reproductions are the answer.”

“We do not wish to copy nature. We do not want to reproduce, we want to produce… directly and without meditation.”

“When you have practiced drawing for a while… take pains and pleasure in constantly copying the best works that you can find done by the hand of great masters.”

“You can copyright your art, but not your artistic vision.”

“You’ve got to be able to copy things faithfully before you can deviate.”

Creativity is a mix of art and transformation in the industry.

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