My seventh grade art teacher had a quote above the door that said "Why copy when you can create?" I don't totally agree with her interpretation of the meaning . . . When I was in college, my ceramics instructor taught us the value of "sharing" ideas - not copying, but gathering ideas from many sources - famous works, others, discussion, imagination, etc. Now I enjoy watching the decorating shows on cable. One of the shows utilizes an "inspiration room" in which very expensive furnishings were used. On the show they get inspirational ideas from that room, then add their own twist to it at a much reduced price tag.
Soooooooo, I believe that students shouldn't copy each other or other images exactly. But I do believe that they can gather inspiration from things they like, as long as they add their own style or twist to it. I'm working on a quote for my art room. I think it'll say "Inspiration is okay, but copying - no way!", or something to that effect.
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."- Pablo Picasso
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