When cakes grow wings.
I don't bake a lot of cakes. But, cakes aren't something you should "wing". When baking a cake, you find a recipe and then you follow that recipe precisely.
However, if you follow enough recipes, you will eventually develop a strong understanding of the fundamentals necessary for baking a good cake. This is called competency. You will become competent in baking cakes.
Friends, family and strangers will try the cakes you bake and they will say, "Damn, this is a pretty fucking good cake."
It's around here where something extraordinary happens. You will suddenly be awarded the privilege to improvise, to imagine and to create as you please.
Nobody awards you this privilege. You just wake up one day and feel called to create your own recipe.
Competency allows for creative freedom.
There's a reason aspiring artists cover other artists' songs. It's the same reason aspiring painters recreate other painters' works and aspiring novelists rewrite other novelists' books.
They're developing competency. They're developing the skills, fundamentals and confidence to improvise, imagine and create original work of their own.