How to steal Art?


Here's a great quote from Picasso, I mean urban legend says it's from him, he maybe stole it from someone, who knows.
Ok maybe someone knows.

The few times I've heard about "stolen Art" in the news or elsewhere sounded a really "bad thing" to do, so how great artists can steal art? Is it good?

How to steal Art in a bad way?

There is hundred of ways of doing it, like

The James Bond way:
I don't know so much about James Bond to be honest, I used to play goldeneye on N64 when I was a kid but my knowledge stops here...I mean I know he's not a thief but anyway... the first known Art thief Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa painting by carefully hide into the museum on a Sunday evening, stay hiden all the night, going out of his spot on Monday morning, took a worker uniform and stole the painting just like that, all the story has been made into a movie.

No not that movie...

No not that movie...

The James Bond way under CCTV cameras:
The modern Art thieves always tend to forget there is CCTV cameras into the museums in our days, like this guy

That's definitely a bad way to steal Art.


The "virtual thief" way:
Some of my illustrators friends have seen their artworks online on a mug or in a magazine or even in a chinese market in London, the crazy thing is that happen ALL THE TIME.

 If you do art, someone in china is probably selling your stuff on tshirts right now and you don't even know it! They saw your work somewhere on internet and manage to steal it, of course they think you'll never see it because how on earth could you find them?
Quite easy, sometimes.

Copyscape can do the job for you and search copy of your page on internet

Google image does work well too, you can just drag your artworks in the search and Google will look up on internet everywhere your work can be seen, the "similar image" does work as well if the artwork has been altered (color changes for exemple) like Pascal Campion's artwork named "The View" has been virtually stolen this summer and sold on an online gallery in America.

The "This is an awesome contest" way:
It's actually the most common and legal way to steal Art. It's not me who say so, it's the "Arrested Development" 's creator who said that. (Thanks to Stephen Silver for reporting that)

arrested development

We usually could think only small companies would ask you to "participate to a contest" to steal your art afterward without equally paying you for the work you've done but just offer you "a journey to Las Vegas" or even dare to ask you to work for free.
But actually no, more they're big, bigger they want to steal your art.
Like this guy and showtime
There is hundred of stories like this one.

So now,

How to steal Art in a good way?

I don't know you but even "steal" a colour palette from someone's artwork does make me feel bad, even if I've already done it sometimes. I mean you see good color harmony, it's so tempting isn't it?
Does it mean you're a thief? Is choosing the same colour to paint your house as one of the house from an other street would be stealing the house? Obviously not.

But actually you have the right to take a colour harmony if you like it, there's no copyright on colours and just that you know "you're not the only one"
On Dribble there is a special thing where you can paste your color code and look for the work people have done with that special color. You'll see that people have often the same colour choices so don't be afraid of that, steal colors and learn how to combine colors at the same time!



How to steal an Idea?
I sometimes see pictures I love, on pinterest for instance, and I'm questionning myself sometimes with these simple questions:

Why do I like it?
What do I like the most in it? The emotion, the story behind, the colour harmony, the character Design, the gesture, everything in that picture?

So here's an Idea I had recently and thought I could share it.

You can ask yourself:
what kind of emotions, what kind of story there is in that picture?
And describe the picture, like for exemple the one I posted above, in a way like I was blind or if I was one of your friend who know nothing about this image and that I ask you to explain a bit about it. (So forget about colors but focus more about shape, feeling, texture even.)

" People are waiting at a bus stop in a big city, with buildings in the background, there is as well this small dog looking at this strange small smiling chubby creature who waves at us. The all looks funny."
From there I could take the place and the characters and reduce them even more, to help me to focus on what I really like in that picture.

Bus stop, Small dog, waiting,  chubby creature. (I think it's all what I like in that pictures, the colours are lovely but behind the idea I found great to have different proportions and different characters, human/animal/other)

The idea afterward is to take every word you have, emotions or descripting words and put them in thesaurus  (it might gives you other ideas) and even Google image can be useful.
I stole this idea from Nate Williams who has as well other ideas to generate ideas.

This process can be a lever to generate ideas.
You "stole" the idea but, because you're a creative person, you might want to change that and that and finally the picture can have elements from the idea you stole but looks totally different.

The Dam Keeper (Dice Tsutsumi / Robert Kondo)

The Dam Keeper (Dice Tsutsumi / Robert Kondo)

Steve Jobs said that about "How to steal Art?":


Ultimately it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you’re doing. I mean Picasso had a saying he said good artists copy great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

maxime lebrunComment