So, a dancer that I REALLY admire just SO much is Kamrah and they wrote THIS POST titled “I Will Never Be That Good” where they discuss this state? in dance, but it applies to all artists, really. Or athletes. Or anyone who practices any skill, really. The idea is that you see one of your heroes doing something amazing and, with dejection, realize that you will never be like them – as if that were a failure.
It may be a sign of my age (egads, I am old enough where that’s something I can say unironically), but I was taught (in public schools, no less!) that we study the Masters’ techniques not so that we can BE like them and emulate them (because, really, who wants to be a Monet copy cat? I mean, other than forgers?), but, instead, so we can somehow absorb their methods – the REASONS they made the decisions that they did. What values their techniques emphasized. What kind of topics and stories and impression were best served by those particular techniques and what it was in those techniques that served so well. You study your heros so that you can benefit from what they’ve discovered and build on it. You don’t want to be a clone, you want to be the next generation – better, faster, stronger! if you will. You are supposed to build on, alter, reply, spring forth from what they’re doing – not copy.
Of course, in traditional art, you try to practice those same techniques. But something people don’t realize is that techniques are not the same as topic, subject, vocabulary, or style. They are a method by which you explore an aesthetic. That’s what you are going for! Not the exact movement, technique, or brush stroke, but how something is expressed! And then apply it to your own interpretation and perspective. That’s the thing of it!
Gosh, I hope that made sense. Actually, I mean, fuck, I hope that made sense! Haha! That’s MY view of it. As someone coming from a family of artists who grew up in a generation idolizing artists while simultaneously being taught that there was no value, effort, or skill in the arts. Someone who has studied and explored, both in public group settings and private one-on-one sessions, the entire gamut of art.
THIS is my understanding. Now, I fully expect you to take this that I have expressed at you (writing is an art too, goddammit!), digest it, reflect on it, and then go do something even more amazing, impressive, and meaningful in the world! Go! Do the things! And do them badly, that is SO much more impactful than doing them well!