Copying is how we learn
You start by imperfectly copying someone or something that inspires you. You keep copying, making mistakes and drawing inspiration from other sources. And eventually, you find you've made something new and original.
This short post (and its title) was inspired by a far more insightful one by Austin Kleon called Copying is how we learn. If you like that you should also check out his book Steal Like An Artist, which is excellent.