To what extent can an individual's creativity be raised? Sometime down the line the person is going to look for sources outside for information and use them. Hence creativity can be best described as one's capability to hide those sources, which, of course a very difficult task. Also with such a large population of thinking minds it is but natural that duplicate ideas and thoughts exist.
In many cases, one may want to start with a reference. It is this reference which forms the basis of your likes and you second the idea or look for something which catches your fancy. It is just that you also have the same feelings as that person. So you see there is a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. When you actually go out to bring in the same ideas or thoughts you are smitten by guilt on three counts. Is it right to steal somebody else's idea? Can't innovation be better? Could there be some illegal implications with doing it?
But it is also human tendency to copy. We see that many of the innovative ideas are got from nature around us. Many of the yoga postures are based on animal gestures or poses. Stealing or we could say copying has become common place today. It is seen in almost many of the domains today. Be it in the writing world, fashion world, visualization world, recipes etc. It is known that people can’t really innovative all the time and have real original ideas that often. The brain processes the same data and just rearranges them in a different pattern which seems new. Also the perception varies from person to person.
When clients approach designers they sometimes refer to their specifications of work and mention that it should be similar to some existing thing. This sort of makes the job easier for the designer since they have something to see and get to know the specifications the client is referring to clearly and immediately. This does have a lot of benefit for the designer who could be designing a website, web page, art, photography etc. Thus it depends on the designer’s capability to perceive the same content and project it as something new. The major challenge lies here and the end result says it all.
So all we could say is that till mankind is around it will be difficult to realize what is really novel or what is really copied. Finally it depends on the perception of the end user. If it satisfies the end user and there are no legal issues with life will go on.