One thing I learned years ago from performers an cartoonists is to start an “Idea File”. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just a file folder or an empty magazine sized envelope will do, it will be used simply as a collection point for things you see, notes you jot down, or magazine articles you find that could be of use to you now or later.
When I am designing puppets for my new shows I sometimes come across a comic character picture I like that I clip and insert into the file. I also will pick up other brochures, not necessarily those of other entertainers, whose style or layout I think is great. I then can lay out these brochures and see if I can adapt different parts to suite what I am working on.
Idea files can be all sort of things. Maybe you heard a joke you thought was funny…jot it down and put it in the idea file. Maybe there is a costume you need for yourself or your puppet and see it someplace. Take a picture and put the photo in your idea file. You can also scour the internet to find photos, articles, and whatever else suits your fancy.
I am not saying it’s OK to steal, but it is OK to take pieces of ideas from many sources and create something new and unusual with this info. Out of many places come new creations. Use your “idea file” to help do that for you!