Young artists copy the work of other artists they admire. Maybe you have an epiphany, as Dave did, or maybe it slowly sneaks up on you, but one day you realize that the stuff you most enjoy doing doesn't look like anyone else's. It's yours. Oh, all your old influences are still there--they're unavoidable--and of course you always try to learn and improve. But your resources become more internal than external. You figure out how to solve problems your way rather than peeking over at the paper of the kid sitting next to you.
I know of artists who don and doff other people's artistic styles easily, and make a living at it. But work that has real meaning and the power to affect other people must be authentic. You can't fake it. It has to be you. Sometimes the you you end up with isn't the one you expected or even wanted. No choice. You're stuck with yourself. Run with it.