There’s nothing anyone creates that isn’t shaped by everything they’ve been exposed to all their lives. Sometimes it’s conscious, sometimes unconscious. Here’s a great example:
While “Despicable Me” didn’t come out in theaters until 2010, I’d be willing to bet the character design of Miss Hattie was well underway before “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” was out in 2007. And yet, these characters who have similarly nasty temperaments and similarly odious relationships to children, look strikingly visually similar as well. Could it be that, because of shared cultural referents, people working in separate environments came up with very similar ways of representing an idea? Yeah, it could.
(Do I have a whole folder full of bookmarks from TotallyLooksLike.com? Yeah, I do.)