One of the ways I learn is by doing something similar to what someone else has. I learned to draw by copying comics. I learned to paint by watching Bob Ross. I learned to write by reading. I learned to play with Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop by using tutorial files.
Math is *not* my strong suit. I can quickly deduct change from a dollar and multiply fractions when I'm cooking. But math is a loss. I know geometric shapes but geometry is lost on me and algebra gives me an instant "theory isn't proof" headache--which is stupid since I'm a fantasy-lateral thinker and all *that* kind of thinking works on is theory.
Fractal math is lost on me. I get repetition. I get similarity through repetition. I don't get how to create a flame from scratch. I can tweak. I change transforms and iterations and coloring. What I make is largely based on ideas gotten from other people's scripts, tutorials, and params/flames they've shared. Only a small percentage of what I've created is "original", taken from a random batch or basic flame.
When I find something out of a flame that someone else has shared, I feel thrilled. I'm grateful for the knowledge of others, for their consideration in sharing what they've made. I try very hard (now that I know how to do it) to change a shared parameter so it doesn't resemble the one shared, but *is* a variation--whether it has kept original transforms or not.
My point: I'd like to be "original", but I'm not. That shouldn't suggest that I have no imagination. I just love other folks' artwork and the inspirations that result.
So thank you to all of you who share your work. I'm in awe.