The work of artists can be transformative; however, creatives must take an active role in an ongoing process. It’s difficult to recognize when your own creative work is derivative of the limited influences closest to you, unless you make moves toward expanding your frame of reference. Seek feedback from more accomplished peers. Take ownership of your tastes by studying the greats, even those whose work may not align perfectly with your own interests, and most certainly those whose work stands as a direct afront to the meaning and purpose you search for through your creative endeavors. The smaller your frame of reference, the more likely you are to endlessly repeat what you already know, which ultimately is merely yourself. Self-indulgence is a tricky thing, because it super-charges the ego, but it does absolutely nothing for growth.