Learn First. Then Find Your Voice.

There’s a definite pattern to learning anything creative. You start by learning the basic techniques with someone else. That someone else forms your early projects because you’re expected to imitate the given style. For a number of people, imitating is just fine because it means they can worry about getting everything right without having to worry about finding their own vision.

Thankfully, there are those who aren’t happy imitating for long, and soon enough they’re creating an imitation, looking at it through a lens of “What if”, and infusing the next attempt at the technique with their own imagination and inspirations. And they keep doing it, even to their own work.

It’s fine to learn by imitation, but never forget to take a step back from what you’ve made and ask yourself how you can do it differently. Find your own voice and let it shine through each subsequent piece.

(The same goes for just about everything in life. Learn something, and then decide if and how to make it your own. Don’t be afraid to turn your back on something that just doesn’t fit.)

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