Shamelessly inspired by a shot that Sean has now taken down…
There is a set of fine lines between copying / be influenced by / getting inspiration from other peoples work. My general feeling is that there isn’t much new and uncharted territory in art anymore… at least not within our current social structure – rip it all down and start again, then maybe we’ll see some new idea emerge. But, at this point we’ve all been steeped in the same juices for so long that it’s asking a lot of your subconscious to come up with anything pure and unique.
That isn’t to say that it’s alright to flat out co-opt someone else’s ideas, and make them your own. There needs to be some sort of reference back, some sort of acknowledgement of the debt of inspiration, a new twist that adds something of you… otherwise, why are you bothering? It’d be easier to just look at the original work.
The cross-pollination of ideas is just going to happen. You talk to someone about an idea that you’ve been developing, and by virtue of presenting the idea it develops. Not just in you, but also in the listener. It may not always be something that inspires the listener to go out and do something new, but it’s a new seed value for the chaos engine of their subconscious. Their reaction is reflected back in to you in the same way.
I guess this is why artists form groups or collectives: the influence of their peers opens up new ideas, new expression.