Iconography is “… a creative activity in which the artist has no initiative, in which he finds the problems and their solutions long since formulated, in which he conforms to a well- established hieratic canon and expresses neither his personal emotions nor the beauty of nature.”89 Icons are never painted from the imagination of the painter or from a living model.90 Rather, iconographers used existing icons as points of reference. This affirms the Orthodox commitment to tradition. However, Ouspensky suggests that to paint icons as the ancient iconographers painted them did not mean to imitate their style, but rather to imitate their lives, as Paul imitated Christ. This was accomplished not by copying gestures and words but imitating life. ”…to follow the sacred tradition, to live the tradition.”91