from Robin Cheers
There is so much eye candy out there that you could easily spend hours poring over other artist's work every day. From magazines and books to online galleries, websites and blogs, the access to art is amazing. And overwhelming.
This can be too much of a good thing. Its quite natural for artists to admire and want to learn from others, but if you spend too much time allowing all those images clutter your mind, you will not be able to express your own vision. I think its great to look to others to see how a problem was solved, or to inspire a unique approach in your own work, but only as a springboard. Sometimes copying a master's work is a great lesson in color mixing and design. And if you are very careful, you might distinguish how the paint was applied, which layers were first, how the paint varies from transparent to opaque. But trying to paint like someone else in all your paintings will only lead to disappointment. You will inevitably see your work as a failure, because you aren't giving voice to your own creativity.
Learning to express ourselves is a bit like a treasure hunt. Through honest expression and the belief that we have something important to share in our work, we create work that not only pleases us, but inspires others.