Aren’t you wielding a rather blunt knife here? If this were actually true I would be an insufferable megalomaniac.
I’m inspired by other people’s work all the time. I’m not comfortable going into someone else’s work and directly lifting out some piece of it for my own use (unless of course it is public domain or the use is for educational reasons). I don’t call that using other people’s work as inspiration. That is the ironic use of the phrase “inspired by”. For me personally, using other people’s work as inspiration involves (at least) two distinct phases:
The Open Phase: Expose yourself to other people’s work as much as possible. Study it. Try to understand why it works or doesn’t. Appreciate it. Let it change the way you think.
The Closed Phase: Now step away. Let the details of other people’s work blur into a cohesive whole. Create a mental space for your own ideas to grow. Continue to accept abstract ideas from the outside but limit exposure to exact implementations.
Even this two phase approach itself is not my idea, it is heavily influenced by reading many books written by creatives talking about their process. I found that time and time again the concept of creating a safe place for one’s own ideas to flourish comes up in various peoples’ process. And it makes sense. Initially one’s ideas are weak and confidence in them can be low. They need protection from other people’s fully formed time-tested ideas until they can mature and get a fighting chance of their own.