Can you make something similar?
What a peculiar idea. And yet I think it is valuable to encourage this of ourselves. That copying something—but not quite, because it is only similar after all—is an essential tool for creating inspiration. Maybe this is a necessary state during which a creative leap can happen. According to Richard Powers in his novel Bewilderment, no matter how difficult the answer is to grasp, a child’s question was the start of all things.
Similar to what? An elephant’s trunk, or the sensitivity it would take to know the identity and mood of a person by the scent left in the air some days after their passing? It is increasingly obvious that we as a species know very little, when compared to our elder brothers and sisters, So what do we know?
We know how to be curious.
We know how to ask questions.
We know we do not know.
Perhaps these are basic rules for thinking like an artist. Understanding there is no success or failure, only curiosity. Knowing that wisdom depends not on the answer, but on the question asked. Being willing to live in bafflement.