STEAMed Magazine January 2016 - Page 24

SM: In your mind, what’s the difference between creativity and originality?  Should we be seeking one over the other? AK: Creativity is just a tool — it's the ability to put existing things together in a way that creates something new, or solves a problem. 
 Originality is more of a quality used to describe something as being new, or novel. It’s also based on the observer: As Jonathan Lethem has said, when something is referred to as “original,” 9 times out of 10 the people calling it so just don't know the sources involved.
 The trouble with originality is isn't Austin at work at his desk. Photo credit: always the smartest thing to shoot for: often when faced with a problem, the smartest, most efficient thing to do is to find out whether any one else has ever solved that problem, and see if you might steal their solution.
 SM: In Steal like an Artist, you share that we’re all stealing each others' ideas all the time.  Why should we even bother to create if it’s all been done before? AK: Andre Gide said everything's been said before, but no one was listening, so we have to say it again. Poets, for example, have been writing love songs for thousands of years, but we always need new poets to put the love songs in our own language. 
 And the world is always changing. Humans will always need creativity, because there will always be new problems to solve. 
 SM: You have a new journal out - how is it different from other journals?  Why did you decide to introduce this now instead of another book? AK: The Steal Like An Artist Journal is the notebook I wish existed when I was first starting out. It takes the material from my books and turns it into a kind of interactive creativity workshop. Each page has a prompt designed to give you the right nudge so that you're compelled to fill the page. 
 STEAMed Magazine 24 January 2016 Edition