As an artist I get asked a lot what inspires you? I think most people think there is some deep meaning behind artwork and yes, there can be, but sometimes influences are subsconscious.
I was working on a new piece in the studio. Here is a close up detail:
Later that day I was scrolling back through some photos and came across this:
It was a photo I had taken of our cat Buck, about a week before, when I had taken him to the vet. I was shocked at how similar this pattern and placement of the circle were to Buck's cute little face and the door of his cat carrier.
Sometimes influences are as simple as taking your cat to the vet, but that is also why artists and makers need to be mindful of influence.
It is one thing to be influenced by another artist and take an idea and build on it, and it is completely another thing to out right copy an artist. It is easy nowadays to get online and look at other artist's work, like it, copy it, and claim it as your own domain. It is also very easy to look at a lot of work (pottery, paintings, etc.) that your really like and subsciously start creating work like that work.
I consciously will not follow certain artists online because I like there work and it bridges into geeze, I wish my pottery looked like that. Unfollow. It is self preservation.
(Let's clarify I am not talking about beginners. Many beginners are encouraged to copy other artists until they find their own artistic voice.)
Here is the finished piece. I am called it Wicket, meaning a small gate or door.