No artist develops in a vacuum. From the moment we open our eyes, we are affected by what we see and feel. Some things attract us in a pleasing way, while others repel us. It is natural for us to want to grow close to and possess that which pleases us. As artists learning to crawl creatively, we naturally copy the work of those we like. Copying another artist's work develops your hand and eye coordination, which (in traditional 2D animation) is essential in being able to understand how to follow a character model sheet and keep your poses "on model".
The danger is that sometimes copying becomes a crutch which some young artists never throw down...and that cripples your creative growth.
Study the why's and how's of your favorite artist's work. Imitate that artist as a young bird would imitate its parents' flapping of their wings... but learn those lessons and principles that make for pleasing design, so that you can soar on your own into new territories...and not trudge along the well worn paths that were created in the past.
Pleasing designs are created by universal truths...and audiences are always interested in a fresh take on universal truths.