When it comes to innovating, counterintuitively, I think the surest way to producing something new and noteworthy is to start by replicating work you admire. If you're making music, first play the music from your favourite artists, then make music like theirs, and only when you've mastered that do you need to go your own way. If you admire Hemingway, practice writing like him and your own voice will likely develop by itself. Before helping develop cubism Picasso was first an accomplished artist.
It's easy to look at the best and think you have to be different. But standing up first makes it easier to stand on the shoulders of giants.
What's more, copying is much lower pressure.
Replicate, then innovate.
I learned this idea while working at Jump Associates
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