Well for me the answer may be yes.
I absolutely love scanning through images of other people’s sketches and paintings and if you visit my Pinterest site (my Nicola Young one rather than Rag Tag Magpie you’ll see just how addicted I am!) but I have to say that I get a bit hooked on the beautiful finished images which I think does put up barriers to pushing myself and experiment.
I’m too focused on what the finished item will look like which means I play it safe and copying is a safe approach for me. I guess the tendency has always been part of my DNA so I shouldn’t blame my favourite social media platform and copying has helped me to learn different technical skills.
I was never taught to paint and its a medium that I’m not very comfortable with so copying images of other more proficient artists has helped – here’s a few examples.
But I think its probably time for a different approach so from now on rather than grabbing images and printing these out to copy I’m going to start keeping an ideas sketchbook so rather than replicating the images other people have created I’m going to scribble down what I like about them and try to describe the work in words and sketches and hopefully it should help boost my creativity.