Inspiration vs Plagiarism

There’s a very thin line between being inspired by someone’s work, and simply copying it. In general, great ideas don’t come from thin air, all of the new creations are an improvement or a remix of what’s come before.

Searching for inspiration is an important part of the ideation process. Everyone needs a source of inspiration to enhance their ideas and therefore create their own unique artworks.

But, when does inspiration turn into plagiarism?


Inspiration is an idea that has risen from various factors such as nature, literature and other people’s work. In some way, it’s a driving force, which inspires you to move ahead. One thing we have to remember is that everything already exists, it has already been said or invented, so whatever you create, it will have always been inspired by another’s work or something you have seen in nature for example. You can be inspired by certain color palettes, shapes & forms, brush strokes and how something makes you feel.

How to get inspiration

Inspiration is so versatile, people don’t only get inspired by artworks per se, you can feel inspiration from different places; from watching a movie, reading a book or even going out for walks. Once your general idea is formed, it’s just a matter of motivation, time and practice that will allow your imagination to come to life. It’s important not to be scared of failure, don’t be afraid to let your imagination flow, you don’t have to stick to your main idea or do exactly what you had in your mind. Everything you create represents you and it’s important you feel proud of it.


Plagiarism is the process of borrowing the thoughts and ideas of others and pretending them to be your own. In order to stand out and be unique, it means you need to know how to use other artists work as inspiration, copying to an extent, for you to mould it into your own unique artwork. 

Many famous artists knew they had an interest in art by seeing a specific artwork and recreating it. It’s important for you to know that there is nothing wrong with using other people’s work and making it your own, you just have to make sure to reference their work, tag and mention the artist you have been inspired by.

So, don’t be afraid to copy and get inspired to ultimately improve your artworks. Always keep your mind open, but ensure it’s in support of creating something meaningful and new. Be yourself, let your creativity flow, and be proud of every artwork you create, plagiarised or not.

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