My daughter Adhya's drawing teacher used to give students pictures and they drew it. Copied it, as well as they could. My daughter would put real effort in this exercise. Her drawings were often as good as the original.
The teacher, impressed with her work, posted it on her Facebook wall. Many 'Likes' and appreciative comments followed. The comments ranged from, 'just wow' to 'you are a rock star!'
But this flurry of appreciation had another effect. Adhya realised, she wasn't the true candidate for the appreciation. While she had put hard work, and showed a lot of patience in replicating the minor details, the real artist, the true creator was someone else.
She made a promise that day, 'I am not going to replicate any drawing. I will draw from my own imagination. Or I will look at life first hand for inspiration.'
She understood, a bad illustration by yourself is much better than a great copy. When we use our own imagination, we grow our own capabilities. We develop our creative muscles. And that's what matters.
She took out the canvasses hanging in our drawing rom. Anything that wasn't her own imagination, her own creation, won't have her name on it.
Her journey as a creative person and an artist began that day!
That sense of pride is the first step towards unleashing the real artist in us. Isn't it?
BTW: The drawing you see in the image is her own creation. Study of a real papaya. It was tasty!