There is a topic of conversation which I have thought about for a while and have come to some conclusions. The Idea that we as artists create absolutely.
It’s hard for me to believe that anyone who is active in the art world can be creating without something or someone influencing their work. Thus the idea that their work is truly unique can only be true if you take in account their path to this uniqueness. Each artist makes a lengthy journey at finding their style and developing their methods. I contend, we choose certain combinations from a repertoire of ideas. There is a collective consciousness of humanity that we all reach into and pull out something that we respond to. This makes it ours, this is like taking a recipe and spicing it to fit our tastes. It is our uniqueness and our creativity which springs from our choices. It doesn’t come from nothing.
As an artist I can tell you that I am greatly influenced by many things in my environment both good and bad.
My work is consciously or unconsciously also influenced by what other artists paint. Sometimes I limit my exposure to certain things knowingly, to eliminate the possibility that it may show up in my work. Other times I grasp onto something allowing the Osmosis to occur, to let my work evolve as it may with the aid of other artist’s work. I don’t try to mimic anyone’s work but I will try to paint in their style or even paint one of their paintings to see how it fits with my style. I evaluate the process and try to get into the other artist’s mind. I’m always amazed that two people doing the same type of work can have such different approaches to the same subject in the same medium. Sometimes all I find out is how much I like what I’m already doing. By working with another’s palette or by trying certain methods I find I have a broader sense of the challenges each artist faces. Most of the time, it just gives me some ideas as to how I want to proceed in developing my own style. It helps solidify my tastes and gives me a direction to proceed. My confidence level is strengthened by working thru ideas others before me have mastered.
Folks are always worried about copying, or infrigment, and you should be concerned. But you should also know that no matter what your style or how you approach your work, you are influenced by what other artists are doing and you shouldn’t be worry about that, its part of the process of finding your own voice. All major artists movements fed off of each other, the impressionists, Ash can, Dada, etc. These folks only became better artists by the exchange of information and by digesting the work of their peers.