To create great art, consume great art
People often wonder about where creative people get their creativity. Are they born with it? Is it practiced? Does inspiration strike like a bolt of lightning leaving you no choice but to furiously scribble out your thoughts for the world's eighth wonder on the back of a napkin?
It's sort of... all of them. Mashed up into one. I think everyone has the ability to be creative - in that sense they are born with it. Some people have an aptitude for it, but no matter if it's easy or difficult, creativity functions much like a muscle, getting stronger with use - in that sense it's practiced. And then, of course - for those who are blessed to have this happen to them - there are those light bulb moments when your next idea hits without warning. For the practiced, it's an ability to see creativity in all aspects of life. To get to that level of creative mastery where you can consistently produce exceptional work I believe that you have to consume exceptional work. What goes in, comes out, so to speak.
Artists are collectors.
The artist's job is to collect good ideas. It's then from those good ideas that new ideas are born. Think of a brain full of inspirational art as a breeding ground for fresh ideas. Pieces of one idea, meshes with a piece of another idea and procreate an "original idea." To begin making great art that will make a mark, you must first consume great art that has made a mark. Where many people stray is that they consume crappy art. In which case, they're not curators, they're garbage collectors. To collect good art means that you're intentional about what you consume and what you keep. It's simple living, for the artist.
Ignore, forget or eliminate art that is sub-par to make room in your inspiration bank for exceptional art. Keep only that which adds value.