When learning an art or skill there are a few things one needs to be aware of. These are normally referred to as the basics or the rules. The more artificial (man made) the art is, the more the basics. For example, if you are learning the art of playing chess, then the science is in the rules that limit how each piece moves. These rules did not simply appear out of nowhere. They were made by men. After learning these, you might fine tune the art of chess to use human behavioral studies and know how certain facial expressions will precede certain moves. Poker pros have already made it that far. If you are learning how to sing however, your best voice can come from a method that you yourself invent. But of course you still need to understand things like keys and staying in pitch.
In my honest view, there are two ways of grasping an art (or skill). You must come to terms with the basics or the theory so to speak. How far the basics go is upon your discretion of what an ordinary artist in your field should be expected to know. After that you have two options. You can choose to become a master by learning from other masters. In this way, you get to copy what’s already been tested and assumed to work well. This would be the case of an amateur poker player trying to read people’s faces. It’s been done and perfected already. This will be all means make you a good artist. Option number two is to become a master by inventing your own style – redefining the state of the art. Reading faces (to the best of my knowledge) is not a technique I hear a lot of chess players using. If you discover it and hack it this will by all means make you a great artist!
To be a renowned legend you must lead but to be simply known, you must follow. Invent or apply, the choice is yours.
Here is a list of artists who delved into the unknown and created something new.
Larry Page and Serge Brin
John Pemberton (inventor of Coca cola)
Here is a list of guys who made history by following examples before them.