I did not come by this law early in my career. I couldn't. To begin art, any artist needs art skills. Art skills come from practice and mistakes and trying to make something look like something--anything.
Almost every budding sculptor has been encouraged to copy some portion of Michelangelo's David. I chose his eye. The trope goes, "Copy the masters so that you can become like them." Mike and I made a nice eye.
I remember tearing out magazine pages (remember magazines?) to save art ideas to copy. It was my job. Or so I thought.
As I learned the ways of art, I learned that The Idea, The Metaphor and The Truth make The Art. As a neophyte, I was just expanding my tools to better express those ideas, metaphors and truth. The tools mattered, but The Art mattered more. You need a 'voice' to go with your skills.
Huh? Voice? Do I sing as I sculpt? No. It turns out, the voice just happens if you concentrate on being you. So, then, what does being you mean?
It was then I changed my approach to magazines. I combed them closely to be sure nobody else was doing what I was doing and vice versa. And man, there is a lot of sculpture out there to comb.
The result of my search for The Art is the unexpected discovery of Me. Now I live in every sculpture. Unavoidably now, my sculpture has me imprinted on it--everywhere.
Still, I have not done a self-portrait. But then I am not 90--yet.