One of my favourite art posts happens to be right here at HarmonyArtMom. I wrote a post not to long ago about my frustration of having to read posts that criticise the "art" of copy-catting. This quote is an excerpt from Harmony's wonderfully well-put post.
page 11: Mona Brooke's Drawing with Children
"We need to stop mystifying the drawing process and explain to students how artists actually achieve the results they do. For instance, Picasso and Michelangelo both copied other artists' work for at least two years as part of their initial art training." She wrote this in response to the myth that "real artists draw from their imaginations and don't need to copy things". She then says, "They (artists) make sketches from other drawings and photographs, rearrange things, add ideas from their imagination, and create what is considered an original piece of artwork."
This is what I have believed for, well, forever, and wanted to share it with you because it is vital to real success as an artist. I will say it again, art is not created in a vacuum. We all need vision, yes, but where do we suppose the vision originates?