As an artist, I have a fear of copying other artists and/or their works. Other artists might feel the same way too. The world is old and big. There’s so much information and influence/inspiration around. It’s difficult to live and create artworks in solitude without any influence from the outside world. Artists and their artworks naturally evolve/progress. This can be sparked by outside forces and other artists/people. There’s a difference between copying and being influenced/inspired by other artists and their works. Copying is a dirty word/game. It’s cheating and destructive. Our soul and conscience hates it and it doesn’t sit well. It’s counter-productive to our spirit/growth. On the other hand, studying/researching and being influenced/inspired by other artists (old and new) and their works is a natural/constructive process. Not only can it influence/inspire our own work. It can also ignite confidence/freedom with our own creative expression.
It’s best to see the influence of other artists and their artworks as only a small element in our own practice. Analyse and pick/apply the ingredients that work for us. Develop/incorporate them into our own bigger artistic mix/identity. Give it new life/definition and make it distinctively our own. As artists, our works/creations need to be as unique/special as us. It must be true and come from our heart/core. It must express/reflect our individual existence/experiences and forces/sources. What’s the point of copying someone else’s works?! Not only are you abusing their intellectual/artistic property, you’re also cheating on yourself. It’s easy for new/young artists to take the easy road and copy. And I can empathise. But it’s a bad/sad path to follow. Those established artists took many years of hard work and commitment to get to where they’re at. And all artists should do the same.
Dig deep, work hard, keep practicing and be patient. Build on our current talents/virtues and have faith/confidence in our own artistic expression/direction. True/good art that resonates with love, energy and passion takes time and hard work. Soon enough, you’ll develop a style/method that is so uniquely beautiful/awesome. It will be like no other. It will be you. We’re all special/gifted souls with incredible talent/style. Seriously! With my own art practice, I try my best to create original/true artworks that resonates/reflects me. Without trying too hard, of course. It all needs to work and flow and be something that I’m proud to share. To me, art making is a personal/private process/experience. It’s meditation and spiritual. It’s an expression of the mind, heart and soul. It mirrors/reflects my life/existence – with personal symbolism/meaning. I’m sensitive and influenced/inspired by a plethora of things/people and I’m grateful for this.
At the end of the day, no man/artist is an island. Artists work/create art in different ways. Influence/inspiration is all around us. It finds us one way or another. It’s inevitable that we get influence from our world/environment whether its nature or other artists or other. Directly or indirectly. And we should be grateful for this. It’s not copying to be influenced/inspired by other artists or their works. It’s natural that artists share and learn from each other. Artists today learn from artists/masters of the past. And contemporaries share/collaborate. Some artists have similar personalities/ideas, methods/styles. People live and socialise and influence/inspire each other. Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea”. Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. From me, don’t copy nor steal. Create your own. If there’s an artist or artwork that’s influenced/inspired you – acknowledge them where/when you can. Give credit where credit’s due. The eye is watching you. smile