Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #60

Inspiration doesn’t follow style, it creates it.

Good artists don’t imitate existing art, they rework the useful elements of existing art by inventive recombination, thereby giving these elements new life.

A good example would be the varied handling of the Impressionist dot-and-dash stroke in Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism.

Invention—making it new, not just “different”—is the spark of life in art, and it is why good recent art often doesn’t look as much like art as we think it should.

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