The path to creativity has three stages. Imitate, emulate, and innovate.
Every artistic endeavor starts the same. You hear some music, read a poem, watch a painting or a sculpture and say to yourself, that’s amazing, how can I make something like that.
The second stage is emulation. You are still heavily influenced by the works that inspire you. However, now you try to blend in some personal touches.
The third stage is innovation. This final stage is where you define who you are. You completely master the craft and subsequently have made it yours.