Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait With Fur Cap and Bandaged Ear, 1889
Imitation is an art. We are made of the things we see, the things we love, the things that influence us.
Influence: Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin influentia, from Latin influent-, influens, present participle of influere, to flow in, from in- + fluere, to flow. (Source)
The root of influenza is the same: the Latin influentia. The noun initially referred to an actual fluid theorized to flow from the stars, directly affecting human behavior and health.
Influence then, is a contagion. Something caught. What we see, we re-make, in our own image. Our Selves, re-imagined, over and through time.
CS Frank, Self Portrait With Bandaged Hand, 2017