I think regardless of who you are and what you do, there is someone that you look up to, maybe even idolize. I know that is the case for me. In many things that I do, their is someone who like to as a paragon. As someone who enjoys research in the field of communication, I look to researchers like bell hooks, Patricia Hill- Collins and Laura Mulvey. I definitely appreciate how these women have been able to create theories and develop a way to vocalize concepts that have been engrained in our culture. When it comes to book and writing, I definitely look up to J.K Rowling and various stand alone YA authors. The list goes on and on in many facets of my life. Having someone to look up to is beneficial, but can be a double edged sword.
There are a lot of positive aspects to looking up to and respecting individuals who have made a name for themselves in a field that you wish to also be a part of. For one, you can see what is successful. While I don’t believe that fame should be the end goal, it would be rather silly to assume that someone goes into something to remain completely unknown. When we see what works, and also what doesn’t, we know how to go about our own works. For me, I developed my style from mostly my own work and forethought, but in viewing styles that inspired me. In art, I developed my own style when I realized that I had a preference for illustration and cartoons as opposed more traditional paintings. I drew inspiration from the shows I watched and the artists that I followed online. This has also been seen in my writing and music.
There are two side to everything. As such, with a positive comes a negative. When a creator becomes too wrapped up in following their vision of a paragon, they could possibly lose their own individuality. I’ll use the art angle again. I first learned how to draw because I used to mimic the style of Pokémon, the Dragon Ball series, Sailor Moon and various cartoonists like Butch Hartman. Though these artists helped me develop a style, it would have been negative to completely fall into their style. Losing your individuality in your creation is very possible when following someone you view as perfect and trying to follow them.
There’s nothing wrong with having people you respect in the field that you too want to excel in. It’s more a matter of maintaining what it is about your work that makes it yours as opposed to a copy.