Creativity and copying appear to be the opposites. Therefore, it seems unlikely then that there would be a link between copying another artist’s work and being able to create fresh, original work of your own. However, Kentaro Ishibashi and Takeshi Okada, an architect and a professor at the University of Tokyo in Japan respectively, have been researching this topic for several years, and they found that copying may help facilitate artistic creativity.
The increased creativity is not really a product of the copying itself, Okada says. Instead, it’s about being pushed beyond the familiar, being exposed to other possibilities, questioning the other artist’s choices and thoughts.