Start by imitating

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Insist on yourself; never imitate.”

This is only half-true. God gives us all unique abilities to create art, it’s just that imitating is how we learn to perfect it.

At first, what we do will be a copy of what we love. Then, pretty soon, all the ideas and styles we love simmer together and begin to form an original creative product. The finished art will become more “us” throughout our lives.

So I would say: “Insist on yourself, but start by imitating.”