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Innovation without imitation is a fool's strategy.
Einstein studied classical physicists for decades which enabled him to invent general relativity. Most original musicians spent hours practising scales to pick up on the creative powers of musicians they admire. Hunter S. Thompson once hand-wrote every word of the Great Gatsby to recreate what it feels to write a great novel. Rober Louis Stevenson copied paragraphs he enjoyed and then rewrote them from memory.
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Any skill that is difficult to put the core knowledge into works is a skill that should be developed through imitative learning. These skills have many subtleties that are best learned in conversation with a master or through watching them—for example, cooking. Following a recipe...
Most imitation happened through apprenticeships.
Leonardo da Vinci had almost no formal schooling but got his first apprenticeship at 14. He then studied math, anatomy, drawing techniques and geometry. One of his master's most famous sculptures was of David. Later, da Vinci...
The surest sign of an amateur is someone who values originality as their ultimate goal. Instead, they should value quality. They won't become original by getting the Originality Disease because pursuing originality too directly can lead to the opposite.
In the words of C.S....
To improve any skill, imitate, then innovate. The more we imitate others, the quicker we can discover our own unique style.
But modern creators refuse to imitate others and insist on originality even when it comes at the expense of quality. They feel scared to imitate other...
Creators are intentional in what they consume. Consuming art is a product work for them.
For example, film directors watch movies to see how they're made, then borrow and build upon them in their own work. When George Lucas created Star Wars, he consulted the teachings of J...
It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.
This life is what you make it.
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