Advertising is full of snappy phrases to describe the trade. You would expect nothing less, surely? One of my favourites is "Make the familiar strange and the strange familiar."
I came across the quote above on TIGS blog. It is rule #5 in Jim Jarmusch 5 Rules on directing (#1 is, of course, there are no rules).
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” Via MovieMaker
Call me a philistine but I hadn't been aware of Jarmusch until just the other day. He is featured in the Joe Strummer bio by Julian Temple The Future Is Unwritten(which I recommend). Because Temple doesn't flag the contributors names as they reminisce beside primal fires about Joe's life I had to go figure who was who for myself - aside from the obvious ones. Glad I did, being spoon fed is for infants and geriatrics - and I consider myself a 'tween' for the purpose of that exercise.
I left a comment on the Talent Imitates, Genius Steals - just a quick theory on the birth of the cult of originality. Feel free to debate.