Art Synergy: When The Whole Is Greater Than The Idea Parts

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage:

Good artists copy; great artists steal.

It’s a saying that’s been bugging me this past Christmas weekend, so what better use of my time than following the link-rabbit hole to find information about origins and things. Found a fantastic article from 2013 by Quote Investigator.  Read it. Mostly because it talks about how the possible origins of this phrase actually dismissed thievery as an artistic negative.

I found another intriguing message in most of the origin quotes, as well.  One I believe can be summed up neatly in a single word.

Synergy: When The Sum Is Greater Than The Parts

What nineties kid didn’t love Power Rangers? If you didn’t that’s fine, but the Megazord is a rather nerd (or is it geek?) example of synergy. Five dinosaur robots come together to make one massive humanoid robot that’s more powerful than the five individual robots.

Also in the nineties, a slew of business mergers occurred based on the concept of synergy, though in this case it ended up being more of a buzzword. But that’s not really the point of this post. No, I want to propose a slight alteration to the above adage.

Good Artists Copy. Great Artists SYNERGIZE.

So quick tutorial on the creative process. Ready?

  1. Have an idea – This is the seed. The inkling.
  2. Expand this idea – Observe the world around you. Find other ideas to introduce.
  3. Create – Blend the ideas into a work.

As an example, the webcomic coming out this Saturday. The original idea came from Dungeons & Dragons concepts, which in turn came from world mythologies. Also, some ideas came from other authors. Then those ideas blossomed into novels. Those novels then spawned other ideas. One of those ideas became the Dragon Hoard Books webcomic.

Thus the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

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