I recently had a scare with a step of my painting technique and it opened my eyes to a whole new epiphany about my work.
I realized that I was blindly following a certain technique. This results from going overboard with admiring and emulating great painters. But that's all an extremely limiting mindset. In many ways, it inhibits you as an artist. I also looked back at my first commission and realized that it's more powerful than anything I've done lately. I wasn't following any certain palette or technique, all I had in mind was to make a good painting. I've already realized that certain techniques don't matter at all, but now I realize that I must create my own process and not listen to anyone.
My biggest fear is not living up to my potential, and I'm definitely not going to live up to my potential by following someone else's path. The truth is that the only goal I have now is to translate a message through a painting. I will always love certain artists, but I've got to be myself.
I'm writing about this because I think a lot of people struggle with this, especially in our age where we're so interconnected. We can see great paintings anytime online. My advice is to make a conscious effort to be yourself and paint your own way. Learn technique, but don't let it dominate.