In Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist he says:
” Nobody is born with a style or voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.
We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism—plagiarism is trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.
We learn to write by copying down the alphabet. Musicians learn to play by practicing scales. Painters learn to paint by reproducing masterpieces.
Remember: Even the Beatles started as a cover band.”
The Beatles were a cover band?!? Wow!
This wisdom fits perfectly with the Finding Your Creative Purpose Quest we created.
In that quest we give you some practical tools to find a deep meaningful purpose and to get your creative passions flowing for the rest of your life.
One way to do that is to admire other creators and be careful of comparing yourself to them.
One of the best ways to admire you art heroes is to do master copies.
This is a practice that has gone on for centuries.
The purpose is not to copy the painting and try to pass it off as your own.
The purpose is to learn.
Not only more about the painting and the artist, but also about yourself.
Twyla Tharp in The Creative Habit says:
“If there’s a lesson here it’s: get busy copying. That’s not a popular notion today, not when we are all instructed to find our own way, admonished to be original and find our own voice at all costs! But it’s sound advice. Traveling the paths of greatness, even in someone else’s footprints, is a vital means to acquiring skill.”
Right now I’m doing some deep color analysis of paintings I love by Denis Sarazhin .
I’m learning a new skill, learning what works fromhim and learning if I want to use some of the attributes in my own work.
Remember admire your art heroes.
Don’t compare yourself to them, that’s toxic.
Get closer to your true creative purpose through their success.
Get busy copying.