The Art of Appropriation

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Appropriation is the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work. It's a great technique for creating and developing new ideas and concept by taking a small part, from something created by someone else and using it for your own purposes without permission. It's a fancy word for stealing (on a small scale), but it's vital to any creative business. We "steal" and "borrow" all the time.

I love the word because as strategic/digital planners, we research, collect and curate ideas and content from multiple sources and then adapt them in relevant ways into what we do; whether in the form of consumer insights, data/analytics, creative stimulus or strategic frameworks.

Stealing other people's work lock, stock and barrel not only says that you're an asshole, but that you also lack the talent to come up with your own original ideas.

But appropriating ideas from another source is about being inspired and translating someone else's ideas and thinking to a new purpose. There's a lot of  skill and intuition involved in identifying relevant content and trends from different sources and weaving them together and recognizing that the same thinking or framework used there could also be applicable to what you need to craft.

"Good artists copy; great artists steal"

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