These are Paula Scher’s words from How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman, illustrating why you can’t create good design without looking at a lot of other stuff:
I have a pile of stuff in my brain, a pile of stuff from all the books I’ve read and all the movies I’ve seen. Every piece of artwork I’ve ever looked at. Every conversation that’s inspired me, every piece of street art I’ve seen along the way. Anything I’ve purchased, rejected, loved, hated. It’s all in there. It’s all on one side of the brain. And on the other side of the brain is a specific brief that comes from my understanding of the project and says, okay, this solution is made up of A, B, C, and D. And if you pull the handle on the slot machine, they sort of run around in a circle and what you hope is that those three cherries line up, and the cash comes out. (…) I allow the subconscious part of my brain to work. That’s the accumulation of my whole life. That is what’s going on in the other side of my brain, trying to align with this very logical brief. And I’m allowing that to flow freely, so that the cherries can line up in the slot machine.
If you don’t know who Paula Scher is, you should include her work to your list of things-to-look-at.