Firstly one must decide if the objective is to create or imitate; Creativity is a singular lonely activity as opposed to the more comfortable arena of imitative conformity.
Homo sapiens are all born with tribal instincts, what differentiates us is the size of the tribe we feel comfortable in, and the objectives of that tribe.
The bigger the tribe, the less identity we have as individuals, and the more your status is that of the tribe.
Humanity refers to the collective but humanism is a moving target depending on the historical period. The Renaissance coined humanism as pertained to the individual and the development of individual characteristics. Their focus was on the individual as the creator, whereas, in other historical time frames humanism refers to the collective and greatly marginalizes individuality.
The hypothesis here, of course, is that the more one becomes dependent on a tribe, the less creative they become, the larger the tribe, the more one conforms to the norm.
Artist’s fall into the trap of conformity in their insecurity within the creative process. The more one needs the approval of the collective, the less likely it becomes that they will achieve anything of note creatively.
Entering competitions and salons, social media presence, belonging to professional organizations, participating in workshops in person or online can easily lead one down the path of conformity. Some of these things become a necessity in the economy or the artist but carry with them the burden of stifling one’s inner voice. If you must enter competitions enter ones that acknowledge individuality and not verisimiatude. Use social media as a resource and not as a reliable sounding board. Take workshops that help you find your own creative path whether than how-to technique demostrations.
We all rely on a tribe, but the smaller, the better, self-reliance is the trait one should strive for in the pursuit of creativity.
It is far easier to follow a recipe or to take the road most traveled, and when we crumble in self-doubt, the Qwest is lost.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves, no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20