Culture is at it's most fertile when it is shared.
In whatever discipline- from the sciences, to cartography, to art, when our knowledge is shared, it grows exponentially.
By way of example, let me show you a lovely Kalighat painting made as a temple souvenir in India circa 1800s and sold to visitors for what amounted to pennies.
Another Kalighat here and below, a Picasso.
Edo Period, which was triggered by contact with the Dutch, or the Renaissance, which began with an influx of Greek refugees to Italy, blossomed with Arab knowledge brought back from the crusades and continued with increasing trade with Asia.
Pretty awful, hu? That is, pretty awful knockoffs- lacking the fun and glowing loveliness evident in the originals. But guess what? Pulp Cards has disappeared and Anahata's shop Papaya is thriving.
Clearly, her artistic success keeps her going, while the half-assed copying was sustainable neither at the business end nor in the creation process.
When I started, I would look at things by OpulentOddities and think, "I wanna play with pretty old things!" I'd see a piece of hers with rhinestones and think, "Rhinestones! Why didn't I think of that?" and rush out to buy some rhinestones. And so I started to develop and learn. I had so much fun that I continued despite having no clue or guidance, no knowledge or ability to see what worked and what didn't. Eventually I found my aesthetic, or 'voice'. However, I continue to see exciting artists who do something that makes my ears perk up and my muse say "I wanna do that!" It keeps me energized and full of ideas, and keeps this fun.
When asked where their inspiration comes from, people always say, among other things, "from everyday life." What a maddeningly tired answer. It has been studied (citation needed, I know) and it turns out that artists get most of their inspiration from other artists! Why else would we spend 10 hours a day combing through the interwebs? Why else would you be reading this now? So that means when people say they get inspiration from everyday life, they're actually stealing a line they got from interviews of other artists! Mind-boggling.
In summation: I'm going to steal from you! Try and stop me. And you're welcome to steal from me.
(Note: bibliographica wrote a lovely post in part about moi so go read it. Also, thank you for your lovely comments as usual. from now on before I list anything I'm going to say it's too important to list and everyone will clamor to buy it!)