Imitation and Art

There are as many paths to power as there are stars in the sky, but only in envy of birds does a man dream he can fly. First master the style, then work on your form, then allow your own style be born.

I’ve often heard it said that imitation is limitation
That without you carving a path of your own you’d never succeed whatever your passion
Imitation is the basis of all art
It’s crazy to think a man could finish a 100m dash
Not even knowing where to start
To become a surgeon without taking a cadaver apart
To claim he can change a spare tyre never having seen a flat
Imitation is the basis of all art
And after that will find what your path is
I mean what do you think a school is
From medicine to law
From drama to maths
Tell one successful person who just always knew his path
Be it Eminen, Jay-Z, Naz or Lupe Fiasco
Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka or Fela Anikulapo
Everyone with a distinctive art wasn’t that way at the start
Truly only with distinction can you say you have art
Although imitation is the basis of all art repetition plays a part
Repetition is what helps you imbibe your understanding 
What helps a surgeon move his hands with dexterity 
How a musician grows to never miss a beat 
I remember a story of an artist forced by is master to draw chicken eggs on repeat 
10 times 100 times 1000 times improving bit by bit
He grew up to paint the Mona Lisa but only a handful can name his teacher
Can you boldly say he was limited by his start? 
Even those acclaimed as naturals need some light in the dark
Did years studying music abroad deter Fela’s indigenous art
After all we all chorused ABC before learning to spell cat
So remember imitation is the basis of all art and repetition plays a great part.

Ade Seriki…