On imitation

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

I’m starting this post with a quote by Confucius which explains 3 ways one can achieve some sort of knowledge and experience. I agree with this quote and personally, I like to learn by experience and by reflection, the hardest ways obviously but the most sincere and true to oneself.

I’m writing this post as some sort of rant because recently, I’ve spotted a few imitators copying, brazenly what highly creative professionals do. Some may say that imitation is the highest form of flattery but when they copy one’s recipe, style of shooting or artistic identity, then it becomes plagiarism and that’s not cool!

See, many of us spend years perfecting our craft, polishing our technique, learning from our teachers, from our influences and from ourselves to become a better version of ourselves and have a style that defines us as creatives. Some of us like to share that knowledge with others to help them reach their goals but unfortunately, some think that imitating what we do is going to get them somewhere.

I know that imitation is the fastest and easiest way of learning something, and up to some extent, that’s acceptable but when you sell yourself as a professional and you copy recipes as they appeared on a menu, melodies as they are played on a song or photographs as they are lit and composed, that becomes plagiarism and is not cool!

Stay true to yourself, your employer, your clients and your peers, respect everyone and work your ass to create your own style, that’s all that matters.



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