... And here I thought at least one other person would have something to follow up with on the subject of relativity...

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When it comes to stealing an art style, I'm reminded of Genshiken Nidaime.

Anyway, I don't really have a problem with it. Everyone starts out by copying in one form or another. Normally you'd copy what you see (real life scenes). Though, to draw in an anime style, you'd copy anime styles.

To only ever copy one artist's style shows either a deep love for that style or the artist's inability to merge styles or develop further on their own.