When we want to learn a new creative skill like photography or oil painting, the most natural thing to is to enrol in a course, find someone to teach us or learn from books or works we admire. After learning the basics, we then apply the principles.
The trouble is, many of us lack the confidence to truly express ourselves. Instead often we tend to follow what others have done or stick to a particular style or process that is most familiar or proven. This will only lead to mediocrity and seldom produce original ideas or imaginative works.
Learning art is like a traveller in a coach. At first he can make rapid and safe headway along a stretch of paved road. However when the coach reaches the end of the road, he must alight and continue on foot to find his own independent way. Unfortuntely many choose to remain on the coach.