Two things struck me so far today:
1) This quote from T.S. Eliot from The Sacred Wood on the topic of "borrowing" (okay, stealing) from other poets. Like most writerly advice, if you substitute the word "poet" with "artist/designer" it continues to make all kinda sense:
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. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.
My thanks to Austin Kleon - author of Steal Like an Artist for bringing this to my attention. I'm enjoying his weekly newsletter.
T.S. Eliot is right of course. Especially as a young artist it is important and necessary to steal from other poets/writers/artists/designers whom you admire. But, like a young watchmaker, it's important that you take the stolen watch apart - what are the moving parts? what makes it tick? And - most important of all - how can you put it together better? Perhaps not even as a clock... maybe as a calendar? a colander? a colonnade?
As an artist develops, their theft becomes more subtle and transforms (somewhere in the journey) into rivalry. While the inspirational collection of cogs and gear wheels just grows and grows...
public domain images... messed with
2) Tomatoes! I have a dozen plus tomatoes growing!